Awards Spotlight - Refugee & Migrant Centre
Introducing Refugee & Migrant Centre, Promoting Inclusion Award Winner
Why do you love what you do? I love helping people. I deal with a lot of people who have no status or are victims of domestic violence. I love seeing people get the results that they are seeking. I think it’s rewarding when people are lost, are guided in the right direction and get what they are looking for. We help people who are destitute and have no recourse to public funds / no legal status. We help with housing, then with immigration status and if they subsequently have recourse to public funds we help with benefits as well helping people generally integrate into society. The feedback from clients motivates me to help even more people. It’s also nice to know that people ask for me for any additional support they need.
What is your proudest moment from the work you’ve done in your community? Seeing a family with no legal status and victims of domestic violence becoming legal, happy, comfortable, and settled. They have the freedom to live a normal life. For me this is the most rewarding outcome - seeing people going from tears of sorrow to tears of joy, this is extremely rewarding and satisfying for me and are my proudest moments.
The Awards are about bringing people together, can you tell us about some of the great things that are happening to bring people together in your sector/Walsall? It’s a bit difficult to bring the community together with the pandemic and lockdown restrictions. However, we have held several events bringing communities together and I have really enjoyed working with people from all different backgrounds. During Refugee Week, for example, we asked our English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students, our volunteers and staff to provide their favourite recipe to create a cookbook called ‘Food Without Borders’. It was lovely to learn about different cultures and foods.
Can you tell us about an individual/organisation in Walsall that you admire and why? I admire our centre and the work we do, delivering holistic support to refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants. The support we offer covers a wide range including housing, welfare and benefits, homelessness, destitution, ESOL Levels 1 and 2, immigration, employment, education and citizenship.
Can you share something that you have learnt during the pandemic? What I have learnt about the pandemic is that communities have come together to support each other with food parcels, vouchers and helping vulnerable people and those with health conditions. A lot of charities have also worked together to provide support within the community.