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S’s story:

NERS provides crucial support and guidance through the asylum process and, once refugee status is granted, we help people to integrate into their new communities. The is the story of S, who arrived in the UK in 2016 after fleeing persecution in her country.

“I was still in my country when I first heard about the NERS and the work they do -I was searching on the computer about protection for asylum seekers in the North of England and I found NERS’ address, so when I arrived in Newcastle, I knew where to go.

I was pleased when I realized that NERS’ office was just a few minutes away from the place in which I was staying, and I went there straight away. At that moment I was incredibly stressed -I had a story to tell but I had absolutely no idea how to procced… I desperately needed professional advice. The staff at NERS listened to my story very patiently and gave me the right advice -I needed to go to Croydon to claim asylum.

Then, a long a hard process to get refugee status started. The worst thing is the unclarity and uncertainty… it is very stressful not knowing what is going to happen and not being able to make any plans for your future. It takes time to get rid of all that tension even long after you get refugee status. I faced difficulties regarding my case and NERS helped me in whatever challenges I had. For me, the staff at NERS are not only professionals but compassionate and empathetic individuals that connect with people on a human level.

Soon, I decided to start volunteering with NERS and I got to know the team well. In fact, I continue to volunteer there still now after getting my status; and they continue to help me in my integration process -which, even though it is much easier than the asylum process, is still full of challenges.

After being granted refugee status, I was very unclear regarding my professional journey in the UK and I have been receiving great assistance from NERS’s staff as part of the RISE (Refugees Into Sustainable Employment) project. They helped me to produce a good-quality CV and guided me in the job-seeking process. This has deepened my understanding of the UK job market, given me back the confidence in myself and made me not give up my on my hopes to build a good career for myself here. I have now a great full-time job, and not just any job, but one that matches with my expertise and interests. I couldn’t be more grateful to NERS for their continuous support throughout every step of my journey!”