Mohammed is originally from Syria where he was forced to leave the country because of the war. His life in Syria was greatly fulfilling due to his loving family, his work as a languages lecturer (speaking fluent Russian, French and Arabic) and the many hobbies he picked up there which included writing a book. Moving to Wolverhampton as a refugee, Mohammed met some friends who suggested for him to contact Ashley Community Housing.
“There I met very, very kind people, very helpful people. I was very happy to meet them as they helped me.” – Mohammed Ali.
Ashley Community Housing helped Mohammed with a variety of different things when he arrived in the UK. Firstly, Mohammed was given a house to live in. We then helped him to reunite with his family, who were previously required to stay in Syria – Mohammed said, “It’s not easy to leave your family when you have children. My family lived away but then Ashley Community Housing helped me and then the Home Office gave me the right to bring my family here. My family arrived at Birmingham airport, and it was a very nice moment when I met my family again.”
In the near future, Mohammed and his family will be moving on from ACH accommodation to Council accommodation in Wolverhampton.
“ACH helped me to open a bank account, go to the Job Centre and do programmes. ACH helped me to meet my family, they were very helpful and met me with a smile. They helped me to do all the things that I needed and helped me to find a job. I also did a project for 6 weeks, it’s a project for the future, to be a Teaching Assistant. After I might get a good job - like a teacher.” - Mohammed Ali.
Now Mohammed has been volunteering to support learners at ESOL classes run by Wolverhampton Adult Education Services. He volunteers as a Teaching Assistant by helping the learners with any translation needed. This volunteer placement was arranged through the Building Better Opportunities Community Matters programme, funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund. He also assists at our regular beginner’s English classes in Wolverhampton, helping other refugees learn English.
“We’re lucky to have someone like Mohammed volunteer to help us with classes”, says James Haughtey, Training and Outreach Officer at ACH Wolverhampton. “And even though he’s achieved so much we know he can achieve even more!”
“It’s nice to see someone come to the UK and not just survive, but use their talents to benefit others”. Amy Chew, Support Team Worker, ACH Wolverhampton.