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NOAH Enterprise: Journeying Ahead

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NOAH Enterprise is a Luton based charity that provides a practical, empowering and caring service for the most disadvantaged.

Nadia's Story: Journeying Ahead

Nadia Abdul* travelled with her daughter from Kenya to the UK in 2015, to live with her husband. 

In 2021, her husband left her – he had been both physically and verbally abusive.

Disappointingly for her, her daughter decided to live with him and not her. Nadia went to stay with her friend for 2yrs until this personal situation became untenable in July 2023.

Nadia had to leave her accommodation but her immigration status was unresolved, meaning she could not get help from the state. She was desperate. 

She came to NOAH with her belongings, facing homelessness and in crisis. She was distraught at facing a night on the streets of Luton. At NOAH, she had cups of tea and rested but wouldn’t speak to anyone for 3 days. Finally, she opened up to Ben in the NOAH welfare centre after he gave her time, space and care.

He sat and listened as she explained what she had gone through. Ben referred her to the Luton All Women’s Centre as well as the NOAH Mi job project which provides a private room in a friendly shared house, delivering short term accommodation for people who cannot access housing benefit.

Nadia was very pleased to move into this project and she was thereafter referred to Maria, the NOAH OISC immigration advisor, for further advice about her status.

Both the Mi Job project and Immigration advice services are funded by the Nightshelter Transformation Fund Round 1.

In addition to this, Nadia accessed 1-1 NOAH therapy with Betty and completed 8 sessions to help her understand and process her past, and start to make plans for the future.

Maria and Betty were upset that Nadia was so utterly broken and could not articulate her words and feelings due to her trauma. She was reclusive and had lost every hope in the processes and systems due to her previous experience.

For the last three years her previous lawyer (paid) was unable to understand what to do with her case. Nadia was very hesitant for us to contact this solicitor. However, after lots of assurances, she agreed.

Maria made the relevant applications to the Home Office in July. In August she was granted 3 months interim leave to remain which enabled her to claim Universal Credit. Now, within three months, she has been granted her full settlement visa. She is now entitled to live and work in the UK, travel, and claim public funds, including housing benefit. Her biometric card (evidence of her settlement visa) is due to be delivered today. We are able to support and refer her to new pathways, to jobs, and alternative housing. She is no more a person with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF).

With this change of her circumstance the staff at NOAH saw a visible transformation in Nadia.

It is brilliant to reflect that NOAH’s holistic support which comprises of care, time, therapy, welfare, and housing and immigration advice, has prepared a whole new future of independence, wellbeing and confidence for Nadia. 

Through the compassion and dedication of Ben, Ella, Betty and Maria, Nadia has the boost that she needs to leave the past behind and journey ahead.

To learn more about Noah Enterprise, visit their site: https://noahenterprise.org/ 

Photograph shared by NOAH Enterprise

*The name has been changed for privacy reasons. 

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