A refugee makes new life for herself in the North-East thanks to the help of Darlington College

A REFUGEE is making a new life for herself in the North-East thanks to the help of her local college.

Palestinian Nourhan Daoud came to the UK as an asylum seeker in May 2019 and was placed in Darlington.

She studied Level 2 ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) and functional skills at Darlington College making her well placed when a job opportunity came along. In August 2021, she was granted her residence permit, along with her husband, allowing them to be able to live and work in the UK for five years. 

“I came to the UK with my husband Rashid, who is an accountant, because it is a safe country,” she said. “We could not see a future in Palestine and wanted to build one here where we are given rights and are treated like humans. I have always dreamt of living in a country which respects me for who I am.”

Nourhan has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a Cache L5 in young people and children management. She plans to sit GCSEs in maths and English next year and will apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK once she is able to do so, with the long term goal of one day being a teacher.

“I applied for the job of admissions and enquiry assistant in the student services department at Darlington College and I was very happy indeed when they accepted me,” said Nourhan, 30.

“They have given me a chance which has really helped my confidence. It has been really good and I want to gain as much experience as I can. Staff and students at the college are lovely and they accept me which is the most important thing.”

Her manager Holly Brannan said: “It was wonderful to be able to give Nourhan the opportunity of permanent employment and she is fitting in so well.

“Nothing is ever a problem for her and she is always willing to help. She is extremely bright and never fazed by anything, which is not surprising when you consider everything she has been through. We are very lucky to have her in our team.

“We have a lot of ESOL students at the college and I’m sure some of them will relate to Nourhan’s experience of coming to the UK. Hopefully her example will help them with their own aspirations and inspire them to achieve.”

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