“I felt very sad and had no idea where I was.”

Zoran* arrived in the UK as a Kurdish refugee fleeing Iran. He was classed as an Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Child as he had no parent or guardian with him. Alone and frightened, he didn’t even know what country he had arrived in.

“They said I was in England and I should not worry because my life was now safe.”

Zoran had arrived in Dover and stayed in a processing centre for nine days. He was then allocated to West Berks Children’s Services under a re-settlement scheme. Step by Step was able to give him an Emergency Supported Lodgings placement with a host in Reading.

Things immediately felt better for Zoran. He enjoyed having a room of his own and access to nice food. He started to settle in and feel happy. His host Sarah told him that if he needed anything, he just had to ask, and that he could confide in her whenever he felt unhappy.

Zoran bonded well with his host. Sarah taught him English and he now speaks confidently and eloquently. He was made to feel at home and allowed free use of the kitchen.

It turned out that Zoran was a fantastic cook. He enjoyed making meals not just for himself, but for the household. He knew that Sarah would be tired after work and he wanted to help out.

Zoran is enjoying his new life, free from persecution. His ambition is to open his own restaurant and help poorer people and those experiencing homelessness. Having been a recipient of kindness and support himself, he wants to give back to his community.

“My life is safe here,” he told us. “It is like a big dream for me, but one which has come true.”

* Name changed to respect privacy

Donate View all Stories