Working with migrants and refugees in the Black Country – Part 2

For the second of our series of short case studies from the Refugee and Migrant Centre (RMC) in Wolverhampton, we find out a bit some more of the challenges that RMC advisers regularly assist with. Some of the names have been changed.

Help with getting citizenship

It is gratifying for Refugee and Migrant Centre staff when their clients finally achieve British citizenship, often at the end of a long, in distance and time, and tortuous journey.

An advisor at the RMC

An advisor at the RMC

Amira who was from Iraq was applying for citizenship for herself and her children. They all gained citizenship except for one son who was refused because had not passed the ‘Life in the UK’ test.

He was advised by the Government to take the test as soon as possible. However the test costs nearly £900 which the family did not have. RMC were able to support Amira and her son in appealing the decision and after a long wait his citizenship was granted.

Mental health related work

Nora was from Kuwait and seeking asylum in the UK. She had recognised mental health issues and needed support with many aspects of her life.

RMC made GP, hospital and physiotherapy appointments for her and organised interpreting services at these appointments. We located a dentist and booked her an appointment with ‘Healthy Minds’, a psychological therapies service for people who are experiencing common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and stress.

We liaised with her housing provider re the condition of her accommodation and assisted her in applying for courses at a local college. When she failed to hear the outcome of her asylum interview we contacted her solicitor and the local MP who pursued her case. RMC advisers translated and explained every response so that Nora could better cope with her stressful situation.

Nora is still visiting RMC regularly and still hasn’t heard the outcome of her asylum claim.

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