Becoming part of a community – Hamilton’s story

25 Apr 2024

Hamilton met his Case Manager, Laura, during a presentation for the Refugee Employability Programme (REP). As Laura presented in Hamilton’s first language, he felt at ease and decided to join the REP.

A week later, Hamilton was evicted from his temporary accommodation. Hear in Hamilton's own words how the REP team supported him to quickly find accommodation and then start working.

“Unfortunately, the week after joining the Refugee Employability Programme, I received notice to vacate the hotel that I was assigned to stay in,” said Hamilton. “Obviously distressed, I went to see Laura and she helped me to complete a homeless referral form with the local housing authority, and she made some calls and invited me into the office the next day for a meeting with their Integration Manager, Vanya.”

The Refugee Employability Programme provides access to housing support, job search guidance and health and wellbeing services. Our Case Managers will make a personal development plan, that will help people who join, to settle into their new community and life in England.

“Vanya was brilliant”, continued Hamilton. “At the time, I was sofa surfing and sleeping in a church, so she sent the necessary emails and made calls on my behalf to help me find accommodation. Laura kindly gave me a bag of toiletries which was so thoughtful; because of my situation, basic hygiene products had almost become a luxury, as I had no money to buy any. This brought tears to my eyes as it was nice to know there are people willing to help people in this way.

“Within 10 days I was offered a one-bedroom flat within the area. I met my housing officer the next day and collected the keys to my new home!

“I practically skipped to my appointment the next day; I was so happy. When I saw Laura, Vanya, and the team I showed them my keys and told them about my new place, they were all so happy for me, it was such a nice feeling, and I felt like my life in the UK was just beginning.”

Our employment hubs at each office provide access to job-search facilities, computers, phones, and local job boards, with up-to-date labour market advice from our local Recruitment Consultants.

“Laura explained that our sessions would now be focused on finding employment, which I was looking forward to, as I felt like I’d reached the next stage of my journey.”

Together, Laura and Hamilton assessed what job sector he wanted to pursue and to highlight his previous skills and experience in maintenance they created a CV and began applying for jobs. With Hamilton’s enthusiasm, it wasn’t long before he was invited to interview and offered a job!

Laura supported Hamilton financially with funding for his travel costs, vouchers for work clothes and shoes, and the application of a DBS check which he required to start his new job as a Maintenance Associate.

“I would like to give my sincerest thanks to Laura and the team, for empowering and supporting me on my journey, and thank you to REP for all of their support and assistance along the way”, said Hamilton.