Being granted refugee status might mean all our problems are behind us, but on the contrary, problems just start. From my own experience, I can declare that the life of a refugee is difficult, especially in a country where the language and culture is different.  When you find yourself evicted without a roof above your head, penny less and no friends.

This happened to me when my asylum support stopped and I was evicted, penny less and trying to pull myself together I started searching for the light at the end of a tunnel. Then I found the palm of hope and the hand of help (Palm Cove Society). Prior to talking about them, I must tell you I will always remember the beautiful woman with a lovely smile (not fake as with so many other people) opening the door welcoming me with a well-dressed gentleman.

I was not asked what do you want or how can I help but instead they said can we offer you a cup of tea or coffee – this was even in an office environment. I immediately felt that I am between friends and family. I started breathing again and felt I am a human being and I knew that I was going to sleep in a bed.

I was welcomed in to Palm Cove Society as a dear friend and they asked me about my qualifications and about my family and they gave me the opportunity to make a phone call back home from their office at which point I burst into tears and they made me another cup of tea.  I remember these moments and I can afford to laugh and appreciate everything they did to support me.

Because of their support I went to Bradford University and to be brief I am finishing my PHD as a cancer researcher.  I can proudly state ‘trust Palm Cove Society, they are sincere people with big hearts and are not only willing to house refugees like you and me but to support us even years after we have left them’.

I keep visiting once or twice a year and believe it or not they stop their meetings if a former resident like me comes without an appointment and they won’t put you down. Yvonne will see me with her big beautiful smile and Gerard with a cup of tea ready for me.

With Great Love and Respect to Palm Cove Society I Can Now Say I am a Dr. T.K.

A Refugee Testimony