Good news stories
1. The LAASLO team supported a young refugee who had dreamed of attending university. He was granted a conditional offer at four different universities, including his university of choice, on the condition he completed Functional Skills Level 2 in both English and maths. It seemed impossible to do this in time, due to the current coronavirus restrictions.
Luckily, the Hope Foundation in Middlesbrough was able to test his skill level free of charge to check that he was ready to complete Level 2, which he was. They also identified a provider who could deliver the examination on time for the young man's university start date.
Unfortunately this help came at a cost of £340 in total. The Mary Thompson Fund was able to pull together a very generous donation of £300, and the Hope Foundation kindly agreed to waive the remaining £40.
This partnership working has helped a very bright and committed individual get one step closer to achieving his dreams in this country.
2. The Independent Living Worker supported an individual who was in temporary accommodation because he had 'No Recourse to Public Funds'. He'd been in the country for 13 years, and was getting weekly welfare checks from the Independent Living Worker.
It appeared that the individual needed a letter to show how he had been supported by the council in order for the Home Office to reconsider his entitlement to public funds. This letter was given quickly, and was enough evidence for the Home Office to reconsider. The individual, who also has three children to support, could not thank the council enough.
3. The tenancy support worker (rough sleepers) worked to support an entrenched, prolific rough sleeper. Earlier this year, the individual became unwell and was taken into hospital in a very bad way. The tenancy support worker and the substance misuse worker visited him in hospital, vowing that he wouldn’t be returned to the streets.
On his release, he was housed in temporary accommodation, and supported with daily hot meals, and a mobile phone so he could stay in regular contact with his support workers. The individual has been incredibly grateful and appreciative.
Since moving into temporary accommodation, he's kept himself to himself, and there have been no problems reported about him. He's proven his desire to eventually move into his own tenancy. In fact, he now has a bungalow lined up for him, and the team has successfully applied for a Community Support Scheme grant to help him with furniture. Once he's moved in, he'll keep getting support to sustain the tenancy.
The team is incredibly proud of what this individual has achieved, and how he's been able to turn his life around in such a short period of time.
Refugee Week 2020
For Refugee Week 2020, we asked some of the asylum seekers and refugees who have made Middlesbrough their home to tell us how they imagine a perfect world. Scroll down to find out what people have said about our video!
"I've just watched your video. It's great! Lovely music, words, people, sentiments. I hope it goes far and wide."
"Thank you for this, I am so proud of you great work love the slides, you gave people a platform to share. Keep well and take care."
"Just to say, you have made my morning...I just watched your utterly lovely video, and it is so beautiful, and full of beautiful ideas, writings and faces. It has transformed my day! Thanks you two."
"It was a great video and brilliant song. Thank you for all the hard work you and your team have done for refugee so far."
"Thanks so much for sharing. It made me feel very humble as reading their thoughts you can understand the hardship they have lived. This thought summed it up for me, 'The greatest nations are defined by the way they treat their weakest inhabitants.'"
"Brilliant piece of work, well done"