Brentford Refugee Dreams of Returning to Carpentry

This year's theme for Refugee Week was 'We Cannot Walk Alone'

Local support available for refugees. Picture: St. John's Isleworth


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A Syrian refugee who is now living in Brentford spoke of his desire to return to his trade as a carpenter as the borough marked Refugee Week. This year’s theme for Refugee Week , which ran from 14 - 20 June was ‘We Cannot Walk Alone’ a reference to a line in Martin Luther King’s historic ‘I have a dream’ speech.

35-year-old Mahmoud said, “I used to be a carpenter back in Syria and I even owned my own shop, which helped me to provide for my wife and two children.

“Now I am now working at a local restaurant, but eventually, I would like to find work doing what I like doing best – carpentry.”

He is one of the many people arriving in this country who have received support from Refugees Welcome Hounslow (RWH), which along with the council, has support ten families to settle. Many of them have fled terrible traumas to move to the borough and make it their new home.

The partnership between RWH and the council has allowed the refugees to build interpersonal relationships within their communities, apply to universities, enrol on courses, develop their written and digital skills, apply for jobs and volunteer placements - and even learn how to drive.

The programme also helps them to apply for travel documents so that they can reunite with their family members in similar situations and access mentoring programmes to keep them positive and confident in the face of challenges.

Over the course of the last few months, the dedicated team at Hounslow’s Children's Centres, working with other locally based council teams, have resettled 34 asylum-seeking families in the borough.
The support provided has been invaluable for these young families who have fled from perilous situations and arrived in the UK with very little in the way of basic belongings such as clothing and toys.

Staff have worked alongside organisations such as Refugees Welcome and Care 4 Calais who, alongside the local Muslim community, have supplied the families with additional assistance in settling the families into their new lives by donating basic equipment for their homes.

Cllr Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Communities and Climate Emergency, said, “We are proud to support the re-settlement scheme and to welcome all the families, helping them to re-build their lives.

“People from all around the world have made Hounslow their home. They play a huge part in making it a strong, diverse and thriving community.

“Refugee Week provides us with an opportunity to raise awareness about the lives of refugees, their resilience and their contributions to society.
“In keeping with this year’s theme for Refugee Week, I would urge you to extend your hand to someone new; someone who is outside of your current circle, who has had an experience you haven’t, or is fighting for a cause you aren’t yet involved in. Together we are stronger.”

Under the new UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS) the Council and its partners are working to re-settle 12 refugees. With the Government’s Resettlement Operations recently resuming, following their suspension by the Home Office due to the pandemic, Hounslow plans to welcome another new family soon.

To get involved in an event that supports this cause and to find out more click here.

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June 25, 2021


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