This is Hossein's story of resilience and recovery during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Hossein, aged 19, is a mentee with Hope for the Young. Having fled Iran to reach safety in the UK, he suffers from depression and has lived isolated and in a state of limbo for the past 4 years waiting for a decision on his asylum claim. One of his only personal connections is his mentor who he used to meet each week in a café to help him practice his English, build his confidence and access vital services.

Living in shared accommodation, Hossein was unfortunate enough to contract COVID-19. With no family, friends or support network in the UK, he found himself suddenly in bleak circumstances. Having to isolate through his sickness, he was housebound by the rules and unable to leave the building. He had no access to Wi-Fi and only a basic pay-as-you-go phone. Cut off from support and basic necessities, and fighting Coronavirus alone, Hossein faced a desperate situation.

Hope for the Young’s Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund was established with the knowledge that Hossein’s circumstances had become a reality for many young people seeking asylum. Hossein’s mentor was able to quickly alert us of his situation and we were able to arrange a delivery of necessary food and medical supplies to him within two days. The agility and speed in which we were able to respond was crucial. It enabled Hossein to recover at home and meant he continued to follow the isolation guidelines – ensuring the virus was not spread further.

Thankfully, by being well-stocked and able to rest, Hossein was able to recover from this terrible virus. Everyone is incredibly proud of his strength and resilience to do so. However, our thoughts turn to how it must feel to be living alone during such a difficult time, with no family or other support network around.

One week later, through Hope for the Young’s Laptop Appeal, a generous person donated a laptop to Hope for the Young. This was gifted to Hossein, along with extra internet data which enabled him to finally connect to the outside world, something so immeasurably important during these strange and unknown times.

Hossein is now able to access his online modules for his college course he recently started, keep up with assignments, and continue the learning he so enjoys. Hossein has also been able to restart his weekly sessions with his Mentor online which enables him to maintain visual communication with a person he can trust, and is a source of vital support throughout lockdown.

We have been universally affected in these unprecedented times by necessary measures imposed in the wake of COVID-19. The lockdown has had an immediate and drastic impact on all our lives. In light of this, it is especially important to remember those most vulnerable among us and consider their situation.

Hope for the Young is incredibly proud to have been able to support Hossein and many other young people thanks to the generosity of all those who have donated to our Emergency Relief Fund and Laptop Appeal, as well as the hard work of staff and our incredible volunteer mentors. The ability to meet urgent needs in these uncertain times is why we continue to be uplifted, positive and motivated to keep helping others. This is just one success story, and with your support, there can and will be more.

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