Farah’s Story

Our Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme resettles those who have been identified by the United Nations as being the most vulnerable people fleeing persecution, violence, and life-threatening challenges in their countries of origin.

We work mostly with families, many of whom have significant medical conditions and/or who have survived torture. The project supports and empowers families to rebuild their lives, move forwards from trauma, and live happily and independently in the UK.

We interviewed Farah who is almost at the end of her time within the scheme:

Can you tell us a bit about where you are from and your life in your home country?

I am Syrian and I am from a city called Hama which is a similar size to Bath.

How long have you been in the UK, do you feel different to when you first arrived?

I have been living in the UK for the past four years. When we first arrived, I was nervous and worried about not fitting in as it was a new language and a new culture. The UK and living in Bath has been better than I had imagined it to be.

What did you find hardest about starting life in the UK?

The language was the hardest part about settling in the UK. However, I have liked learning English. Most of the time I enjoy attending my lessons, but sometimes it can be very tiring as I am studying whilst raising three young children. It is very important to me that I can communicate and understand everything my children are saying to me when they speak English.

There were so many changes when we first arrived, learning how to use email, communicate with school and nursery and understanding our bills. Sometimes these things are still difficult, but it has become so much easier over the four years.

What do you enjoy most about living in Bath?

I love the landscapes and nature here. It is so lovely walking through all the different parks. I recently took my children to the fun fair, which we all really enjoyed, we go every year when the fair is in town. Where I am from in Hama there is a permanent fair which I used to like going to. I like going into the city centre with my friends and going shopping, I particularly like buying furniture and ornaments to decorate my house with.

Farah also added:

“No one is a self-made person, and no one can get by without help or assistance. To be honest, I wouldn’t be where I am now without the support of Julian House because there was so much that we needed to learn. What I have learnt since moving here is that nothing happens quickly, it is a slow process that you have to be extremely patient with. It’s not a burning flame.”

“In Arabic, we say nothing happens to you unless it was pre-determined by god. If advice or support is meant to come to you, it will come. Thinking in this way has really helped me. I have really acclimatised and got used to life in the UK.”