ASSIST Sheffield

Challenging asylum destitution

Meet Souley

‘I was forced to flee Guinea because of my family’s political opposition to the military government. After six months in the UK my asylum claim was rejected and I was left homeless, hungry and terrified of being deported.

‘It took seven years before my asylum application was accepted. In 2009 I came to ASSIST, who helped me to find a solicitor and launch a fresh claim; without this I would never have got leave to remain. They provided welfare payments and access to food, which meant it was easier to stay with friends as I could contribute something. I was no longer scared when reporting to the Border Agency, because I knew there were people who supported me.

‘Once my own situation had improved I became a volunteer, and through volunteering and helping other people I was able to focus less on my own problems. I felt like I was useful; at ASSIST I am listened to and respected, and thanks to their help I feel like I am part of British society.’