Case study: Helping Syrian refugees start a new life in the UK

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Horton Housing was one of the first organisations in the UK to sign up to the Vulnerable Person’s Relocation Scheme, helping Syrian refugees start a new life in the UK.

Mohamad Khear Aboosh, 44, and his wife Rooqaya Haji, 50, with their four children: Ivan (14), Yasmin (13), Riwan (9) and Rodi (2) came to Bradford from Syria in October 2015.

The Aboosh family had spent three years in a UN refugee camp in Iraq, where their youngest child was born. Their eldest son, Ivan, has Thalassaemia, a blood disorder which requires him to have blood transfusions every month. He had not been able to have a transfusion for six months and was weak and very ill when he arrived in the UK.

Mohamad was injured in the bombing in Syria. The blast affected the back part of his brain and he had very limited mobility and couldn’t speak. He still suffers with poor mobility, dizziness and forgets things. He experiences strong pains in his leg and head when he recalls the blast and is seeking treatment for the psychological as well as the physical trauma.

The family fled to Iraq to escape the fighting and spent three years in a refugee camp before coming to the UK.

A support worker from Horton Housing assisted them in their first year in the UK to help them settle into life in a new country. This included help to access healthcare and education, to learn English and to identify training and employment opportunities.

Mohamad said:

“The main thing is for Ivan to get his treatment and to get better. Living here, we have a future for the kids. Back in Syria, and in Iraq, the future was vague. We just want to have a normal life.”