Case Study: Building a new life for a better future with Halifax Opportunities Trust
Halifax Opportunities Trust’s Inclusive Integration Team works with migrants and refugees, who are seeking support to integrate within the community and culture, so they can build a new life in the UK. Many individuals arrive to the area after having successful lives and esteemed careers in their home country, but have to flea due to conflict. Their experiences before arriving in the UK are often unique and sometimes upsetting; the Inclusive Integration team works with people in these circumstances to understand their lives and aspirations and help them establish their new lives in the local area.
Anaishia* is a refugee from Syria. She came to the UK in 2015 with her family, to escape the conflict that was tearing her country apart. She is a Graduate in Arabic Literature & taught Arabic in Syria.
Being a new arrival in the UK was scary as Anaishia was unaware of the services and opportunities available in the local area. This was a very isolating period in her life, as she found it extremely difficult to integrate into the host society and feel included within the community. She experienced very low levels of confidence due to the circumstances of her departure from Syria – leaving her family and country behind and trying to adapt to a new country. Language was the biggest barrier for Anaishia as she wasn’t fluent in English & struggled to understand the different accents and dialects.
In the first five years of settling in the UK, Anaishia could not study or work as she was taking care of her daughters. When her youngest child started school she then started looking for English courses and that’s when she came across the Connecting Opportunities programme delivered by the Inclusive Integration team at Halifax Opportunities Trust, in September 2021.
Anaishia feels proud to have been involved with the Connecting Opportunities programme, which has a special place in her heart. The time spent on this programme & the support received from the Inclusive Integration team has helped her to make positive changes to her life. She feels there was a time where she lost all her skills and confidence & didn’t believe in herself or recognise her potential.
Opportunities for a better future
The Connecting Opportunities programme has helped Anaishia achieve accredited qualifications such as; ESOL Speaking and Listening Entry 3, Food Safety and Catering Level 2, First Aid and many more. It has provided her with a chance to become independent again and recognise her potential. Most recently she has completed the Level 3 Award in Education and looks forward to pursuing her passion in teaching. In addition to the qualifications achieved Anaishia has been supported to set up her new catering business called S&S Food (Lebanese and Syrian based cuisine).
Overcoming the emotions, hurdles and the barriers faced as a new arrival, Anaishia can proudly say that she has found a new home and has settled into this country well.
“This year has been a beautiful journey that I will never forget. I have met so many wonderful people, made new friends and learnt so many things. Connecting Opportunities has enabled me to grow my confidence, my language skills and to socially integrate to society. This would have been impossible without the staff from Halifax Opportunities Trust. I would have never imagined that I would be able to do this and Connecting Opportunities has made this into a reality for me’.Anaishia recalls
To find out more about our Inclusive Integration team and the programmes we offer, please click on the button below.
*Name and image changed to protect subject’s identity