Norwich teacher reflects on providing home to asylum seeker in need

Frances, a host for The Benjamin Foundation, who has been looking after an asylum seeking child in Norwich

Frances, a host for The Benjamin Foundation, who has been looking after an asylum seeking child in Norwich - Credit: The Benjamin Foundation

A Norwich teacher who has been looking after an unaccompanied asylum seeking child has shared her experiences of helping a vulnerable person flourish. 

The host, whose name has been changed to Frances to protect her identity, overcame language barriers and other challenges as she welcomed the child with open arms.

Frances has been a host with The Benjamin Foundation since July 2020, working as a further education teacher who has experience of working with many vulnerable young people. 

She said: "I would have loved to have had children but it just didn’t happen for me and I knew I had a lot of love and care to give someone."

On hosting an asylum seeker, she added: "I think we both respect each other and have developed a great deal of affection.

"Early on we had a couple of issues with coming home late but that was quickly sorted and there’s been give and take on both sides due to the pandemic. 


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"As she hasn’t been able to study English for very long due to the pandemic I have had to improvise quite a bit, which mostly involves me doing terrible impressions or dancing while she laughs herself silly."

Although a host is not expected to supply meals, Frances has found her guest cooking for her on quite a few occasions, including a "tasty but super fiery tomato sauce".

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There have also been "furiously contested" card games in the household. 

Frances receives ongoing support from her case worker from The Benjamin Foundation to talk through any minor worries.

The charity, which provides a home and support to more than 100 vulnerable young people every night, is appealing for others like Frances to provide a bedroom and support for vulnerable young people.

Claire Overton, manager of The Benjamin Foundation Heart and Home service 

Claire Overton, manager of The Benjamin Foundation Heart and Home service - Credit: Submitted

Claire Overton, of The Benjamin Foundation, said: "There may be many people who would like to do more to help those who do not have the same security or opportunities as others."

Full training and support is given to successful applicants, as well as support payments. Contact The Benjamin Foundation on 01603 886930 or email heartandhome@benjaminfoundation.co.uk if you are interested in becoming a host.


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