For the past five years, Clarion has provided support to refugees from Syria and Afghanistan, funded by Kent County Council.
Our specialist team help the refugees settle into their homes and move towards independence.
Two families we’ve supported since their arrival from Syria share their experience, in their own words, of arriving as refugees and making new lives in the UK.
Meet Amira and Alaa
“When we first arrived in the UK we felt we will never be able to live here because we didn't know how to communicate with people or have any friends, but with Clarion's help and their friendly staff, we started to know some kind people.
Also, they helped us to study the language with great teachers and that has given us a lot of confidence to speak with English people.
We are extremely grateful to everyone who has made our lives easier because now we know how to do many things without asking someone every time, true it could be difficult sometimes, but Clarion has given me and my husband confidence.
My husband thought he would not be able to work in this country, but actually he has found a job that he loves, working with friendly people.
My husband was deaf when we arrived in the UK, but our support officer from Clarion arranged a hearing test and they fitted hearing aids.
He is able to hear and his spoken language has improved so much, this was such a wonderful thing, as in our own country they simply didn't think she could hear.
I will try to work hard to help this country as much as possible. I am studying very hard and I want to be a Teaching Assistant. I have been encouraged to fulfil my dreams and one day soon maybe I'll be a mum.
Lastly, we would like to thank everyone who has been able to help us, even with small things, it means a lot to us and we won't forget them. We cannot thank them enough.”
Meet the Bwidani family
“We are a Syrian family part of the Syrian vulnerable persons' resettlement scheme. We have been forced to flee our home country because of the war. We relocated to the UK in 2018.
It has been very difficult to leave everything behind and move to a new country. We couldn't understand or speak English and we knew very little about life in the UK.
The day of our arrival, it was an incredible day for all of us. We were very nervous and we didn't know what to expect.
We were greeted at the airport by our very friendly support officer and the interpreter. They straight away made us feel at home and very welcome.
We were so touched when we saw all the cupboards full of food, the beds made and each room furnished. We had everything we needed, our support officer didn't forget anything!
Our support officer helped us from day one, this made us feel safe and all our worries went away. We never felt out of space and we integrated very well in our new village.
It was difficult and scary for us to understand and deal with the initial paperwork, benefits, school applications and bank appointments. We are so grateful for the work of our support officers, they helped us deal with all of this.
In time, our support officers, helped us become more independent and now we can deal with our day-to-day life independently, and with confidence.
We now have a great social life, happily employed, and all the children are going to school and will soon go to university. Our dreams came true.
Our family is doing very well now, we will never forget the help that Clarion gave us”.