Mentors are given full training prior to being matched and then spend about 5 hours a month with their mentee, helping them to feel more at home in the UK. This might mean helping to write a CV, visiting a museum or art gallery, practising English or explaining the peculiarities of British humour.

‘The types of thing we do together have ranged from discussing current affairs so my mentee can practise and improve his English, to having a bite to eat in a traditional Congolese restaurant’ a mentor on the Time Together scheme.

Time Together came to Plymouth in December 2004. Suzanne Shaw, the Project Co-ordinator, is based at Plymouth & District Mind.

The project aims not only to break down barriers between communities but also to promote positive images of refugees in the media.

Suzanne explains: ‘One mentor was hesitant about meeting their mentee on account of all the bad press and media surrounding refugees. However each meeting is dispelling her fears and she now understands that refugees are people rather than a negative label and is sharing her positive experiences with her friends and family.’

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