Open Door for Asylum Seekers and Refugees
|OPEN DOOR (OXFORD), EAST OXFORD COMMUNITY CENTRE, 44B PRINCES STREET, OXFORD OX4 1DD|
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An account of a sucessful outcome - Open Door's Head Chef Hassan
2013 and 2014 have been important years in the life of Open Door’s head chef, Hassan. Hassan first came to Open Door as an asylum seeking unaccompanied minor. Hassan is a Kurd, from Iraq. As with other Kurds living in his area, his childhood was difficult and he experienced violence and discrimination from the state. As a teenager, Hassan fled to the UK to seek protection.
Hassan began to come regularly
to Open Door, in order to get a healthy hot meal and to relax in a
welcoming and safe social space. Even after he was granted
indefinite leave to remain in the UK, Hassan continued to come to
Open Door. In addition to enjoying the company that Open Door
provides, Hassan was able to benefit from additional services that
we signposted him towards. For example, we were able to find
Hassan an English for Speakers of Other Languages course with the
County Council, to help Hassan improve his spoken and written
Open Door was able to organise and fund the opportunity for Hassan, and other users of our services, to study for a Level 2 Food Safety training course. Hassan passed the course and as a result now has a nationally accredited qualification. Hassan was invited to become a trustee of Open Door, a position he was pleased to accept, and also often cooks large meals for fundraisers and charitable causes. At the end of 2012, after four years of tireless voluntary work for Open Door, Hassan’s dedication and generosity was recognised when he was awarded a volunteer award by the OCVA at the Oxfordshire Charity and Volunteer Awards ceremony in the town hall.
In 2013, Hassan successfully beat many other bidders to win a City Council pitch in central Oxford and is now trading with his own food takeaway van. He employs a number of other refugees and to reflect the warm and continuing relationship that he has with our charity, Hassan has even decided to call his business ‘Open Door Kebabs’.
In January 2014, we were all delighted to congratulate Hassan on becoming a British citizen. He has already contributed a great deal to Oxford and the wider British society and we wish him all the very best in the future.
|Registered Charity Number 1150626|