Rachel’s Story (not her real name)

Rachel suffered serious abuse in Rwanda before escaping to the UK in 2003. She was already experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the rejection of her asylum appeal prompted a desperate response. Fearful of forcible repatriation to the dangers of Rwanda, she fled to London severing all connection with her friends in the Tees Valley.

Eventually Rachel was traced through church contacts and returned to Middlesbrough. Here she was seen by an experienced adviser who made an appointment with a new solicitor and also referred her to a trauma counsellor.

The solicitor made a fresh application for asylum, as a result of which Rachel’s support from the State was reinstated.

Currently, as her new application goes forward, Rachel is training as an unpaid volunteer with the Citizens Advice Bureau. This has greatly improved her self-confidence as has her enrolment in weekly art therapy classes in the Tees Valley.

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