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A Kurdish man who fled the war in Syria has found a home of his own in the UK with help from national care and support provider Sanctuary Supported Living (SSL).

Hassan Life Story Image.

Hassan* became a target of the Syrian Government when he was handing out leaflets for the Kurdish Party, prompting him to flee to Turkey, Greece, France and ultimately the UK.

When Hassan first came to the UK, he spent several years being transferred from city to city, taking in Glasgow, London and ultimately Brighton, where he stayed with fellow Kurds until his application for a visa was approved.

In 2013, Hassan was referred to Brighton & Hove Foyer, an SSL supported housing service for young people aged 16 to 25.

It was through the Foyer that Hassan was able to find stable accommodation and start preparing for the future. After drawing up a personalised support plan with staff, Hassan received support to develop the skills he needs to live independently.

Hassan said: “The Foyer was a great move for me as I felt safe and I was being given guidance by staff at the scheme on how to conduct myself and move forward with my life.

“I was shown skills of how to budget and live a good, decent existence so upwards and onwards I went. I knew in my heart I was going to be able to be living a life free of fear.”

Once he had developed these basic skills, Hassan was offered a bedsit at Amber House, an SSL ‘move-on’ service, which offers support but in accommodation with a greater degree of independence.  

It was there support workers were able to assist Hassan develop his independence further, by assisting with Homemove applications for a council flat and checking relevant criteria.

After two years at Amber House, Hassan moved to a council flat of his own; having arrived in the UK, applied for a visa and passed through the support process, he was living for himself in safe, stable and secure accommodation for the first time.

Hassan added: “I would like to say to Sanctuary Supported Living, a huge thank you for all your support and hours of input you have given me since 2012 at the Foyer and Amber House.

I am delighted my journey of insecurity, with reference to not having a place to call my own, has come to an end. I now feel secure for the first time since I was a teenager of 17 years old handing out Kurdish literature in Syria. My new life begins now.

Hassan, Resident

* Name changed.

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