“When I first came to Salusbury World, I was still in asylum accommodation and I was struggling so much. Without you, I don’t know how I would have coped, I feel like I wouldn’t have been able to do anything. You sorted everything one-by-one and always explained the problems and options I had very clearly. You always look after me – I don’t know how to write my thank you – thanks is not enough. I finally feel relaxed.”
‘John’ is a refugee who was referred to us in January 2020 by Freedom From Torture. Despite significant mental and physical health conditions, and the significant challenges posed to him by Covid, John has flourished in London and is looking forward to welcoming his wife and teenage daughter (who he has not seen in over 12 years) to the UK soon.
Our work has included:
- Overseeing the move from asylum to mainstream accommodation. John was evicted in the first week of the lockdown and the logistics of moving properties required extra attentive liaising with the council housing officers. John is now in secure, newly refurbished private accommodation.
- Establishing Universal Credit (UC) award in March. This was when there was a heavy backlog and slow processing of claims
- Making foodbank referrals and organising Covid mutual aid groups to deliver medicine and food. This was in the early stage of the lockdown before John's benefits were paid and while John was shielding.
- Chasing up severe delays with assessments and submitting welfare payment applications. John was awarded a backdated payment of almost £6,000 for Personal Independence Payment and around £2000 Discretionary Housing payment to assist with a rent shortfall caused by the benefit cap.
- Instructing a solicitor to make an application for a Family Reunion visa. This included correcting them when they instigated the incorrect application.
As a result of his benefits and housing situation being set-up and dealt with so successfully, John has felt confident enough to complete a cookery course and is now a certified chef. He has recently started teaching cookery classes over Zoom!