Mother and Toddler in a foreign land: Josephine's Story


One bitterly cold November day, SVP members in Cardiff went to visit Josephine, an asylum seeker who had recently moved into the area with her two-year-old child. Josephine was in dilapidated housing with no heating and no means of cooking apart from a microwave donated by friends. There was one egg in the fridge for the baby and nothing else. On top of this, the front door was faulty and almost impossible to open.

Josephine was frightened but struggling to stay positive. She had been unable to get all the benefits to which she was entitled, and the two of them were living on a single person’s income support of £70 per week to cover everything. SVP members provided immediate relief on the day with £100 for food and essentials including basic cooking utensils. They befriended Josephine and over the weeks provided her with furniture and other necessities including a washing machine and clothes for her and her child.

The SVP supported Josephine financially for 22 weeks until her benefit problems were resolved. Members also spent hours making phone calls on her behalf to the tax credit and child benefit offices until she was awarded the correct amount. After a long and frustrating process, Josephine was finally given British citizenship - and hope for her and her child's future.

This case study and many more like it can be found in our book ‘Changing Lives’, available for a suggested donation of £5.00. Contact the SVP National Office to order a copy.