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Please note that the following letter contains discussion around mental health, depression, and suicide.

“I have been in the UK for nine years now. I spent nearly two of those years sleeping on the streets. In the asylum system I lived through poverty and homelessness, my memories of cooking with my mother were my only comfort. But because of supporters like you, I was able to use my passion for food to rebuild my life.  

That’s why I’m inviting you to join Refugee Action’s new recipe subscription Home Made. By donating just £10 a month you will receive monthly recipes, stories and exclusive content that connect you to people like me. Your support will help people seeking safety to build a home here in the UK.  

“I had to claim asylum after some very dangerous and powerful men in Egypt started threatening me.  I was forced to give up my business and leave behind my son to protect him. But, I did not have access to accommodation while I waited for my asylum decision and ended up living on the streets.  

Hungry, cold and alone I felt completely hopeless and decided to take my own life. But two people saw me crying in Hyde Park and decided to help me.  

I was introduced to the Refugee Action team and supported by a caseworker to find housing. With access to essential well-being services and support, my mental health was able to recover.   

When you go to Refugee Action you feel like you are with family so this is like a new life.   

My caseworker helped me find classes to learn English and referred me to a business course so I could turn my passion for food into a business.  

I opened a small juice stand in London after getting my refugee papers. Now I also run three small restaurants in Shepherd’s Bush Market. I get to share my passion for food and my mother’s recipes.  

“I love cooking. I love the work. It has allowed me to rebuild my life.”  

My customers are honestly like family.   

I know that the things that I have achieved are because of them. It makes me so happy to see how many customers have, even in the cold weather, come to enjoy recipes from my home.  

Refugee Action helped me get the tools I needed to rebuild my life. Now, you can help even more people like me make a home in the UK.   

Food has the power to connect people and build bridges. Through Home Made, I will be sharing one of my mother’s favourite recipes. I still use all her recipes and even now, when I am stuck or unsure, I just give her a call and ask for help. 

In sharing my story and her recipe, it is like extending my family further. I am happy that you will know and remember me and my mother because of this recipe.”