"M" Guinea (Middlesbrough)

"Before I was an Asylum Seeker, but now I am a Refugee everything has changed. Since I started working I say to myself it’s a big change. When you are on benefits your life is really limited. Now I am on a salary and it’s a big relief. It’s really helped me physically and mentally to think about the future, because without a job you can’t think about that. I feel like I’m part of Middlesbrough now. I’m thinking about settling down and having a family. Before I was thinking about having to move down south. But now I am a Middlesbrough man! I like what I’m doing. Now I give advice to new status refugees. It’s hard for someone who hasn’t been through this process to understand what we need to know, and how to get into the system. I like giving back something and helping those coming after us, so that they don’t have to go through what we went through. I feel lucky because I see others here who have been waiting 5 or 10 years, and they have kids to raise too. I think about them and thank God for what I have”

Skills: Post grad Maths & Physics. Cisco Engineer; Currently: Refugee Advice worker; Arrived UK: 2005