‘’My dreams at this moment is to get back into work and sort my life out with my family, kids, grandkids. Once I get back financially I want to help them out with some money. My son and daughter only have part-time jobs as that’s all they can get at the moment. They are on zero hours contracts. I’ve tried to look for forklifting jobs but there are few vacancies in East London I can follow up. You need a CSCS card but I don’t have one. I want to get back into work as soon as possible.
The first time I ever went to Community Links was about seven years ago, to help me look for work. They see everyone. Community Links found me two jobs in a row, at Asda in Beckton and Britvic in Beckton.
Since then Community Links has been very important in coming forward, to help through all my ups and downs, advising me how to deal with situations and how to go about it. They have helped me progress in a lot of different ways, not just how to get into work. I sorted out with them housing, and they helped me a while back with my residence status when I was told my papers weren’t up to scratch and I wasn’t in the system to prove I was in the country.
The recent Windrush question from the government, about staying here, set me back. It felt personal, although I know it applied to us all. But I had come here, worked, done my bit and paid my dues. I was stressed and through the confusion lost my housing and ran into debt. My main challenge now is trying to get my Windrush papers, documents, passport, etc. from the Home Office and to solve my housing situation. I have no permanent address, at the moment I am staying in a homeless shelter. Now Community Links is helping me to sort out my passport, debt and Windrush compensation.
Community Links has been there for me over the years, when it seemed there was no one else. I’m made to feel someone with them. I’m given help – but more, belief – and hope. Life has been tough recently, very tough. But I know I will now come out stronger, and keep hold of my dreams.’’