Case studies

Susan and Karl

When Karl first came the UK he felt very isolated.  He struggled to get to grips with the language and found out that his engineering qualifications were not recognised in the UK.

“I felt sad at leaving my country. I was apprehensive about leaving my job and having no job to go to in the UK. I felt lonely and isolated because I could not speak English very well and so was unable to communicate with most people. I saw the Time Together scheme as an opportunity to meet British people o­n a o­ne–to-one basis, and to find out more about the British way of life. My main dream is to obtain a job equivalent  to the o­ne I left behind in DRC”

Susan, 43, an accountant from Stockport, started mentoring Karl in January 2005. Having travelled independently for a year, she had an understanding of how lonely it was to be in an unfamiliar country, without any friends and family for support:

"I know how much I appreciated it when people in the country I was travelling in took the time to talk to me and welcome me to their country. I wanted to offer the same experience to someone coming to the UK."

Susan has enjoyed watching Karl's confidence grow during the time they have spent together.  Mentoring has also given her the opportunity to learn new things and explore a different culture:

“Karl’s confidence with spoken English has improved, and he is making the best use of the courses available to him through Learn Direct. Karl has helped me with my French, and I have learnt a little about African culture and things like African cooking.  We have also been to an African supermarket and an English supermarket to compare what African people eat to what English people eat. I feel that Karl has become a friend and I look forward to spending time with him.”


See all case studies for Manchester