Proud to support refugees and asylum seekers in Stoke: Mubarika’s story

Mubarika came to Stoke-on-Trent from Pakistan after husband was injured in a suicide blast. She travelled to the UK with her injured husband and two young kids after being told by doctors that he could only receive treatment for his injuries in England.

As she explains: “I came here in 2010 with my two kids and my husband. He was seriously injured in a suicide blast. When he went for treatment in Pakistan, we were told that they couldn’t treat it and that we’d need to travel to the UK for treatment.”

“So that’s what we did. But when we got here our only option was to claim asylum and we weren’t prepared for that.”

“When we came here my kids were just two and six months old. They were so little so we couldn’t tell them about what had happened. I can’t imagine we ever properly will because a suicide bomb is such a difficult thing for them to imagine.”

“We didn’t have our friends and family around us, and my husband was really afraid to go outside and he was struggling to cope. Things had changed massively for him and now he was living his life in a wheelchair. He couldn’t sleep, he was having nightmares and flashbacks of the bomb. It was really difficult for us both.”

“I was really suffering with the mental effect and the trauma of the event and when I provided letters with doctor’s records about my health they weren’t accepted as grounds to stay just because there were no physical injuries. My husband has physical proof of his condition and injuries and accepted that. Whereas I was told to go back and be supported by my father in law which was the worst part. I was astounded because if our lives were safe there, why would we come here?”

Concrete helped Mubarika and her family by helping them into temporary accommodation, securing a bank account, helping them to sort their finances and set up utility bills to take the stress of sorting the more practical things out of an already traumatic situation.

“I’ve been through a lot, but it’s just another chapter in my life and not the whole story. We’ve settled in adopted English life and are so proud of what we’ve been able to achieve. My kids now even have little Stoke accents.”