A friend in loneliness

If it wasn't for Refugee Roots and their assistance with Maggie calling me to see how my wellbeing is, I don’t think I would be sitting here to have this conversation..sometimes it felt so lonely

Alliance claimed Asylum in March 2020 and soon after was dispersed to Nottingham. A referral was made by a charity in Portsmouth to Refugee Roots for her. Our support worker Rose began supporting Alliance with a number of issues and Refugee Roots were privileged in supporting Alliance to access medical support, legal support and meet some of her most basic needs. 

Alliance was moved into a Nottingham hotel where she experienced a number of difficulties and challenges which she expressed as “not a suitable living standard” but some things improved with the help and support of many local charities and community organisations, the local authorities and the housing provider. Their combined efforts to improve things are appreciated but Alice still feels there is room to improve. 

The hardest thing for Alliance was the impact on her mental health, feeling afraid...a feeling like “compression” in her head. It’s been a lonely time for Alliance.

Alliance was matched with Maggie who began volunteering with us at the beginning of the lockdown. 

Every Monday she called me"

Our befriender supported Alliance remotely on the phone through lockdown and for sometime after. However recently Maggie and Alliance have been able to meet in person, Alice said now “we sit down and can have a coffee, ,it was nice for me to finally meet her”. Alliance has appreciated the help and support from Maggie to access toiletries and clothing through Refugee Roots, signposting and making referrals to other providers (Migrant Help, Sharewear, Host, NNRF, St Nics Church of England). 

Alliance later attended our women's group meeting at Windmill Community Gardens in an allotment where a socially distanced group of women and volunteers have met for English conversation, language learning , arts and crafts together. More recently she has volunteered with the group and she has helped support other refugees and asylum seekers accompanying them to groups for their first time and introducing them to colleagues and volunteers at Refugee Roots. 

Alliance became a thriving artist and member of the weekly art sessions too where she has made new friendships. 

(Alliance, at the time the video was recorded preferred to be known as Alice, since then she prefers her name to be used "Alliance").