21st August 2017


A refugee (who would like to remain anonymous) who came to the UK to escape their country’s national service conscription was recently awarded a grant by Coventry City Council thanks to our support. They are from Eritrea, where their national service programme is widely considered ‘miserable’, ‘useless’ and ‘akin to slavery’ by the likes of The Economist and The Guardian.

They found asylum in the UK, gaining temporary accommodation with the National Asylum Support Service, but were asked to leave as soon as leave to remain was granted.

They came to Coventry because of a friend who was already here and had previously stayed in our accommodation service. They were accommodated by our team and supported to settle within Coventry. They set a target that they would like to move out within a year and find their own tenancy.

Throughout their time with us, they attended an English language course at a local college and completed work experience at Amazon. We also helped them receive medical treatment to cure their blindness in one eye

They met their target of moving out within a year, moving in with Whitefriars housing association in July 2017. However, this was an unfurnished property, without the household necessities required to make it habitable. We therefore supported them to complete an application for a Community Support Grant with Coventry City Council, which was accepted. They qualified for household goods including; a fridge/freezer, bed, kettle, saucepan set, washing machine, sofa, cooker and crockery.

The grant from Coventry City Council has enabled them to settle, find independence and integrate into the local community. Whitefriars - a local housing association - continue to support them and ensure they maintain a stable tenancy while continuing on the right path.

With their newfound furnished tenancy and language skills, they intend to find paid employment. They recently attended an interview with Amazon for a paid position, and we hope they are successful in all future endeavours.