Shiva came to the UK in 2016, aged 24 from Iran. When she first arrived in the UK, Shiva found it very hard to cope adjusting her new surroundings and missed her family and home country very much. Shiva was homeless before coming to Nottingham. Shiva was introduced to NAT through Nottingham Refugee Forum who referred her to NAT for English classes. Shiva found the classes very good and helpful – she can now speak English fluently and helps with translating for other clients at NAT! Shiva now studies at college and currently lives in one of our shared female properties. Shiva also says that NAT helped her get Universal Credit and helped her find a local GP. Shiva adds that “Arimathea Trust do their best to help you always”. Shiva says she now feels settled into life in the UK and attends events in the community such as Nowruz celebrations and music events. Shiva says she enjoys coming to NAT as she can trust the staff and has met a lot of friends at NAT through English classes.
When Lucy received refugee status she applied for ESA with the help of a support worker at Nottingham Arimathea Trust and evidence from her doctor. After waiting 1 month, Lucy became worried as to why she hadn’t received payment. She was constantly reassured by DWP and told that she just needed to wait. With the support of NAT support workers, many visits to the job centre, and continuous calls to ESA, it was finally discovered that the original ESA claim was not matched to Lucy’s NI number but instead the temporary ref number that was given to her when she originally claimed. This means all the evidence sent through by the Jobcentre agent was returned back to her as though no claim had been made. Regardless, she still responded quickly resending all her evidence again. NAT support workers were also in contact with YMCA several times but unfortunately we were unable to negotiate an alternative process for Lucy to be housed. Therefore, she was allowed to stay in NAT accommodation in order to prevent her becoming street homeless.
Hassan is a Syrian refugee who moved into Arimathea Trust accommodation in October 2015. When he moved in he was in the process of applying for family reunion so that his wife and three children could join him in the UK. The visas were soon approved but he could not afford to pay for the flights for his family to travel to the UK. Nottingham Arimathea Trust set up a fundraising page and organised a Syrian Solidarity Night in order to raise money to help Hassan bring his family to the UK. The money needed was raised very quickly and Hassan’s family joined him in October. The family was then supported by the worker to apply for benefits, enrol the children at school and we also set up English tuition through volunteers with ESOL qualifications. Hassan suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after being imprisoned and tortured whilst still in Syria and he has been supported in attending appointments and ensuring that he receives the mental health care that he needs. He is much more settled and less anxious now that he knows his family are also safe.