Khaltom's Story

Khaltom's Story

“I’m 38 years old and a mother of four. My children are 19, 10, 8 and 6 years old. My husband and I couldn’t stay in Kurdistan because of the war in Iraq. In Kurdistan, life was difficult. I only had the chance to go to school for two years of my life. But I am grateful that I survived – and that my family made it to the UK.

I didn’t know one word of English and my husband was working all the time in a kebab shop to make ends meet. I became isolated. When I found the Cardinal Hume Centre things started to turn around.

"This year [2021], the Centre has meant everything to my family. In January and February it meant the chance to meet and talk to other parents and practice my English. My children met other children, we made friends. Coming to the Centre has also meant that we have felt safe and less isolated during the pandemic."

"My husband has lost many hours of work in the shop and the Centre has helped us with food and essentials. We did not have a computer at home so my two daughters would come to the Centre for one-to-one computer sessions and to get help with their homework. In autumn, the Centre donated a laptop to our family – it made a massive difference because it means they can do schoolwork from home."

"The six of us share a small 2-bedroom flat. We make the most out of the limited space we have, but the Centre is a safe place away from the flat, where there is enough space for my children to play, read, and learn about gardening, how things grow and cooking. It’s a place where they can access learning materials, and where the children actually think it’s fun to learn! Beyond the support with food, the homework support has been the most meaningful for us. It has helped the children understand their homework and engage better with their learning at home. They need someone who speaks fluent English and knows the subjects well enough to help them."

"To be honest, it means a lot for my own well-being too. The staff are so nice and supportive. I honestly don’t know where I’d go if I didn’t have the Centre, or what I would do if I lost it."
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The featured image are children playing in our family services playground.

clients were welcomed and supported
young people were given a home in our hostel
vulnerable children attended our School Holiday or Family Saturday's projects