Peyman’s story

Asylum Welcome supports many young unaccompanied asylum seekers who arrive in the UK with no family. These young people have often lived through incredible trauma. Once these young people turn 18, they are no longer supported by social services and are left to fend for themselves. The challenges that face these young people are profound, including issues with immigration status, housing and health, access to food and funds, and support with education and employment. We provide a combination of 1:1 support and social groups to help young people like Peyman to settle in the UK and to move forward with their lives.

In 2007, 16-year-old Peyman arrived in Oxford. His father had been killed in Iran and Peyman had arrived in the UK frightened and alone.

Peyman was refused asylum. When he turned 18, he lost support from social care and he moved into a house that was provided by nuns. After this provision closed down, Peyman began to sleep on the floor of the building. After a while, he was made homeless and he began sleeping on the streets.

Asylum Welcome was deeply concerned for Peyman’s welfare. We found a remarkable local family who provided a room in their home for Peyman. Meanwhile, we worked tirelessly with lawyers to continue to present Peyman’s case to the Home Office. We also helped him with food and hardship money, found him free college courses, provided English lessons, and supported him to volunteer in our Welcome Centre.

Peyman found it hard to fit in with local youth culture, so he stuck close to Asylum Welcome and we stuck by him. It took 12 long years from the day of his arrival before he was finally granted Leave to Remain in 2019. Peyman still volunteers for Asylum Welcome; meanwhile, he is working towards his goal of becoming an engineer.

(Source: Annual Review 2019-20).