This week is refugee week and we’re sharing stories from refugees Hashim and Akbar.

They both fled their homes in search of safety for themselves and in Hashim’s case, his family. Arriving in the UK and being forced to re-build their lives somewhere unfamiliar has been a struggle at times.

“I fled Pakistan after getting caught up in a suicide bomb attack. I left my friends, my home, my job and all of our belongings so as I could find safety for me, my wife and our small children.

“We were so lucky to have survived the attack and I knew straight away that I needed to get our family to safety. We managed to flee the danger and we arrived in the UK.

“It was amazing just to be safe… but we had nothing. No house, no belongings, no money.

“We went to the local council who referred us to Arch’s refugee service. Arch helped us find financial support and most important… they gave us a roof over our heads.

“Arch helped us to find our feet again and we could finally get back to normal life.

“We couldn’t be more grateful to Arch… without them my family would have been homeless.”

Hashim

“I fled Iran on my own. I had to leave and get myself to safety. I just dropped everything. I had to leave friends and family, but I didn’t have any other choice.

“After a tough journey, I finally arrived at the UK. I didn’t know what to do or where to go and I ended up in a refugee asylum.

“I was taking respite by going to a local church, where I got talking to a concerned member of the public and they kindly told me about Arch.

“Very quickly I was put in contact with Jez and the refugee service and they got me out of the asylum and found me somewhere to live. I was grateful of the help, but I had to start all over again and learn how to be independent in an unfamiliar place.

“I miss my family and we don’t see each other anymore, I’m still in contact with them, but it’s not the same. I used to have a support system and now they’re on the other side of the world.

“Life’s on the up though and that’s thanks to Jez and the refugee service, he’s helping me to secure a job so hopefully one day I’ll be able to see my family again.”

Akbar

Click here to find out more about our refugee service.