Jilla's story

Jill is one of the 70 adults we support through our Natives of the World programme.


"I am Iranian but I’ve been here in Manchester for 10 years.


When you first arrive in the UK and you can’t speak English it is a big problem. You don’t know the law and you don’t know how to cope. For some asylum seekers they arrive and they are sent straight to a detention centre but they have no idea why. They can’t speak English so don’t understand what is happening.


It’s so difficult for refugees and asylum seekers because their life here is so different. The culture is different and when you can’t speak or read English, you can’t trust your eyes. But it is everywhere and you don’t understand any of it. You can’t find the bus, how to find the GP or register, it’s very hard.


A lot of asylum seekers and refugees are very anxious and very depressed. But there are groups like Afrocats that help people and are kind to them.


I’m an artist, I make jewellery and handmade things so I know how important art is, it really helps. That’s why groups like Afrocats help to change your mood and support you.


A lot of Iranian asylum seekers were rich people in their country so they find it hard to ask for help. They feel ashamed and don’t want to be seen as homeless but Afrocats and their volunteers are very sensitive and respectful."