Anisha is 11 and lives with her Mum who is seriously ill and can't move around very much.
So Anisha looks after her mum and as it's just the two of them, she does the cooking and the housework too. She fits all this around her school and her homework.
Anisha and her mum are asylum seekers. They get a little bit of support from the government and they have to go to the Home Office in the city centre to get this.
Anisha's mum can't work so this is their family's only source of income. But, because of Anisha's mum's illness, it's very difficult to always report in when she needs to.
This means that sometimes they don’t have any financial support at all. Paying for Anisha's school uniform was impossible and they didn't know where to find the money for school lunches.
Worse still, when they weren't able to report to the home office, they would endure long periods with no money for food.
Referred to The Children's Society
Anisha was referred to The Children's Society when she started school. We started helping her with orientation in her new environment, arranged for a grant for her school uniform and organised free school meals.
Over time, our project worker built up trust with Anisha and this meant we could help Anisha and her mum on more complicated issues.
Amongst many things we:
- arranged with the school for Anisha to phone home twice a day to check her mum was OK so she didn’t worry
- found her legal representation for her asylum claim so they had someone to speak on their behalf
- sorted out the chronic vermin problem in Anisha's home
- found somewhere for Anisha to stay when her mum had surgery
- helped get Anisha support with her household chores like cooking and cleaning so she doesn't need to do it all herself.
Life can still be difficult for Anisha, but we are continuing to support her and she is a lot happier and less anxious about life now. She even wants to work for The Children's Society when she grows up so she can help other people like she has been helped herself.