Case study: Joy

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Joy, 17 has big ambitions to be a fashion designer one day, but his other talents include gardening and hairdressing.

The teenager has been living in Horton Housing’s special accommodation for unaccompanied child refugees for a year after fleeing his native Eritrea in East Africa.

He left the country to avoid compulsory national service which is imposed for an indefinite period on men and women when they turn 18. This policy has led to many young people fleeing Eritrea.

Joy has been in his accommodation, which houses young refugees aged 16-18, for a year. The unit is managed by Horton who work in partnership with Bradford Council’s Social Services department.

“People have been welcoming and helpful – the staff are very nice,” he said.

Joy has demonstrated some creative talents, making or customising trousers and other clothes, as well as cutting hair for his housemates and growing fruit and vegetables in a greenhouse in the garden.

He would like to eventually become a fashion designer, but first needs to work on his English in ESOL classes, before he can apply for a course.