Advent: From homelessness to Arsenal, Chelsea and West Brom
Kerry, one of our project workers in the West Midlands, shares a story today about a young man, 16-year-old Afram, we supported, and helped him to make a major change in his life.
This story is part of our Advent calendar. This week we’re looking at the theme of light and Isaiah 2.1-5.
We first met Afram earlier this year when he attended a youth group run specifically for unaccompanied minors. Originally from Africa, Afram had been sent to the UK following the death of his mother, to be cared for by a family friend.
After a short time here, his family friend refused to care for him any longer. Consequently, Afram became homeless, surviving only on the generosity of his friends who provided a sofa to sleep on and food to eat.
When we became aware of Afram’s situation, we made an application to the local children’s services for accommodation and financial support for him. Although the local authority initially refused to provide this support or recognise him as an unaccompanied minor, we fought for Afram to be supported by children’s services.
As a result of these on-going efforts, Afram was eventually placed into his local authority’s supported living accommodation and received financial support. We also secured funding to enable him to attend football trials (including providing finances to purchase the necessary equipment and clothing).
'Before I had no family, now The Children’s Society are my family'
Eight months on, Afram remains in his own supported-living accommodation (financed by children’s services), is attending a sports-coaching course at a local college and is attending trials for Arsenal, Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion football clubs’ under-21s teams.
We continue to support Afram. He attends the local youth club and has told us: 'Before I had no family, now The Children’s Society are my family.'
This is just one of many stories that show the impact of the work we do here and at our programmes across the country.
Every pound you give makes a real difference to the lives of others. With our help, more children like Afram will be saved from poverty, neglect or harm.
'Afram' is a pseudonym – we changed his name to protect his privacy.
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