Ahmed* came to the UK in 2019. He had been badly beaten in Libya by people traffickers and as a result is deaf in one ear. He really struggled with his learning, at Southfields Academy in their International department, as a result of the trauma he had experienced and his hearing difficulties, and he had no English to start with.
Our member of staff, Mery (picture above – who works with our Love to Learn education team), has been working with him intensively. This year he has shown a great improvement. The fact that Mery knows him well and speaks Tigrinya, his home language, means that she became aware that he also seemed to have learning difficulties. This would not have been picked up otherwise, as his teachers assumed that his slow progress was down to his hearing difficulties and having English as a second language. Mery’s intervention meant that he was assessed and then given an EHCP (Education and Healthcare Plan) which will enable him to access the support he needs.
He has also been very distressed about his immigration status. Ahmed has been waiting over a year for a decision and therefore felt extremely anxious about his future, that he might not be able to remain in the UK. Mery found him an immigration solicitor and liaised between him and the solicitor, as well as keeping pressure on the solicitor to progress the case with the Home Office. She provided evidence, from her work with Ahmed over the two years he’s been here, of the distress caused by the uncertainty over his future. We just heard in the last few days that he’s been granted refugee status, which is fantastic news.
*Note: Names have been changed to ensure anonymity.
Katherine Low Settlement is a much-loved, busy charity that has been at the heart of the community in Battersea, south-west London, since 1924.
With a few staff and a lot of volunteers, Katherine Low Settlement runs a range of its own popular community projects including educational courses and wellbeing activities. The charity supports children, young people and their families, older people, refugees and newly arrived communities of all genders, nationalities and religions.
The Katherine Low Settlement building in Battersea High Street, opened in 1924, is used for community activities and events, usually – until the arrival of Covid-19 – by over 500 people a week. Its rooms are available for hire at affordable rates.
Katherine Low Settlement is grateful for the funding received from supporters, trusts and foundations to enable the charity to continue to reduce poverty and isolation and bring Battersea together.
High resolution digital images available from Katherine Low Settlement press contacts.