Birmingham

Case studies

I was unhappy with the bad press given to asylum seekers

Victoria explains:

“I joined the Time Together scheme after a work interview with the co-ordinator of TimeTogether in Birmingham, Suzanne Bisani. I also wasn’t happy with the negative press given to asylum seekers and refugees and thought that these people, who have been through a lot of horrible experiences back home, should be helped instead of being criticised.

"Being a journalist, I came across refugees from writing stories and, having met refugees, I wanted to make them feel welcome in this country. When I first met Aline she was very quiet and a bit unhappy. Now I am inspired by her courage and positive nature.

”Our first target was to get Aline into employment and also to give her support. Aline is much more confident now and is currently studying and would like to pursue a career in nursing. I have become a good friend of Aline: we go out to the cinema and meet at each other’s homes for a coffee. Aline and I enjoyed the Christmas party organised by Time Together, which was good fun!

"Time Together is a rewarding scheme; as well as making a friend you can see the changes in your mentee and this is an inspiring experience. Within the Time Together scheme, you also have a chance to learn about another culture, which very interesting. Although Time Together is designed for o­nly few hours a month, you can put in as much time as you like. I would definitely recommend this to anyone and I’ve enjoyed also making a new friend!"

Aline describes why she is involved in Time Together:

”When I first arrived in the UK alone about two years ago from Burundi, I was very nervous about everything. Having never been to Europe before, everything was new and I was confused and scared. o­ne of the things I found difficult when I arrived in the UK was the language as I o­nly had very basic English. Also, I had no friends with me and have o­nly o­ne relative here. But I was feeling a bit safe because of the existence of human rights in this country.

"I joined Time Together because the scheme offered me a chance to improve my English and integrate, and this was very useful for me. Before I met Victoria it was very difficult to know where to go in terms of seeking advice, education and support.

"I have found being mentored by Victoria very helpful because it has made me much more confident, and helped me understand the UK culture and most of all given us a great friendship!“

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