‘Thank you so much for supporting me, you have helped me a lot. And I was happy to speak to A, such amazing experience to me. Please, anytime you want me to interpret, call me. I loved it’ (young refugee after volunteering)

‘I help them because you helped me and I will never forget that help, it changed everything’ (young refugee after volunteering)

‘I have so much fun, they are really good and wonderful people’ (young refugee after wellbeing day trip)

‘I went today and it was so cool’ (young refugee who has a befriending match)

‘Everything is fine and beautiful, I am happy, thank you’ (young refugee who has a befriending match)

‘Now I feel there are people who care about me’ (young person who has a befriending match)

‘You made me really proud of myself, I’m so happy to hear that, thanks a lot for the support you have given me (young refugee)

‘I would like to thank you so much for getting me on the course, Yesterday I finished Esol for Care’ (young refugee)

“We had never hosted an asylum seeker before so this was a new experience for us. We all get on well with Abraham, who is always very polite and helpful around the house. The support we get from the project is very good. A BIRCH Coordinator rings regularly to update us on Abraham’s situation and to make sure that everything is OK and that we are all happy with the arrangement”

Anne (Host)

“Annie has treated me like a son, welcomed me into her home and looked after me. She has helped me to learn essential skills like cooking, cleaning and also helped me to improve my English. I am grateful for her support which has allowed me to continue my education because otherwise I don’t think I could have done it.”

Abraham (Guest)

“I am a widower living in a three-bedroom semi in Bournville. I had become aware of the desperate needs of many asylum seekers and wanted to do what I could to help. What put me off was the fear that, if my guest and I couldn’t get on, I wouldn’t have the face to turn him or her out onto the streets. That’s where I have found BIRCH (the Birmingham Community Hosting Network) such a help. I’ve now had four single men, all from Africa”

John (Host)