Noura’s temporary accommodation was practically uninhabitable. It was damp and cold, causing worrying health problems for her and her child.Things had become so bad they couldn’t stay in the house. Instead, they slept on friends’ couches, never staying in the same place for more than two nights. The exhaustion and stress was making her ill.

That’s when the CARAS advocacy team got involved.

We worked with her to get environmental health to take action and negotiated a better housing solution. With our support, Noura was offered a safe, healthy home and we helped her to move and settle in. Now that her housing situation is stable, she feels more in control of her life and is keen to start work. Our team continued to support her to find suitable roles and she is now applying for jobs.

Cuts to council budgets, the benefits cap, and an increasingly unaffordable housing market all play a part in making life very difficult for refugees and asylum seekers trying to rebuild their lives in the UK. Our Advocacy service is unique as it offers refugees like Noura support across all their needs, rather than having to be signposted to new services all the time.

Next year we hope to expand the service by hiring a paid welfare advisor, recruiting more caseworkers and enabling people to advocate on their own behalf through training and IT support.

Please donate to our Christmas Appeal so that we can help more mothers like Noura to find a safe home and rebuild their life here.