Case study

Sheila and Sadia

“After I graduated I wanted to start some volunteer work,” says Sheila. “When I looked into what kinds of things I could do I was a little overwhelmed by all the choices!

“For the third year of my degree I moved to and studied in Spain and that experience made me aware of some of the difficulties of trying to establish yourself in a new country where you know no-one and speak and understand little of the language. So I decided to volunteer for Time Together.

“The project has been a great experience - Sadia and I get along well and I have enjoyed getting to know her. I’ve been a friendly face, ear and voice for Sadia over the past year and someone who takes an interest in her current welfare and future aspirations. We have been meeting regularly for a chat often over coffee and discuss points of language as they come up. We have worked o­n a CV and job applications and also discussed future training possibilities and options. We’ve also had fun cooking Somali and Scottish dishes together and seeing Scottish music!”

Sadia has been in the UK for three years.

She attends English classes and has worked as a room attendant but has been trying to improve her English and take steps to get a better job, both in the longer and shorter term.

“When I came to this country I didn't speak English at all, but my English is much better now. I have a good time with my mentor and enjoy my time. I speak better and feel more confident – Sheila has helped me a lot. I was a qualified nurse in Somalia and I’m thinking about studying nursing or accounting in Scotland.” 

Sheila says, “Over the time I’ve known Sadia, I’ve seen her English improve and her confidence and motivation increase. Time Together is well organised with good training. Mentor support meetings allow you to share and learn from others' experiences, and there have been some good group parties with opportunities to meet other mentors and mentees.” 

“I want to say thanks to Sheila,” says Sadia, “and I want to keep meeting up after our year together.”