Just after lunch my phone goes, private number, so shall I answer? I do and it is my asylum seeking friend, she is crying and I become desperately worried, why isn't she using her own phone? She explains that the phone is at Solace www.solace-uk.org.uk and hands me over. It is the best news in the world, she has been given leave to stay for 5 years, no wonder she is crying. I speak to her again and amidst the joy and the tears remember to check on her boiler; someone has been round and has ordered a part.
It has been just over 3 years since we first met, through LASSN lassn.org.uk/ . She was incredibly vulnerable, there have been so many downs and only a few ups. But in all that time she has helped as many people as have helped her, a true friend to many. They all wrote to the Home Office supporting her claim, perhaps some of that helped, we shall never know.
The weeks ahead will not be easy; she will have to move again and work her way through the labyrinth that is today's social security system. However I know that as soon as she can she will be contributing back to the community in Leeds that has given her so much support.
my battered UK passport, maybe one day my friend will have one too