05: Seeking Asylum
Last year, there were over 26,000 asylum applications to the UK, however those who seek refuge are not allowed to claim benefits or do paid work in any capacity until asylum is granted. How, then, can the barriers to employment thrown up by the asylum seeking process be broken down?
Teem is an asylum seeker living in the UK. He’s been in this country for nearly 15 years. He did work for most of this time but due to complications with his documentation, when he submitted a claim for asylum, he was no longer allowed to work. He’s soon to find out whether or not he’ll be forced to return to his birth country - a place where he says he would not be safe.
In this episode we listen in as Teem talks to British fashion entrepreneur Ade Hassan who has numerous awards under her belt - including Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year, the UK’s favourite British designer and the small matter of an MBE for her services to fashion.
Warning: this episode contains some descriptive elements which are upsetting.
The two met at Ade's office in London to discuss often harrowing events from Teem's early life in his country of origin, how those events have shaped his philosophy in life, his relationship with London and the UK, and how important the volunteering work is for his mental health and how it's helped him through some difficult times. Teem also explains how difficult it is as an asylum seeker who isn't able to work and is expected to survive on less than £6 a day.