CAIA is the only organisation in London that combines high-quality, professional, quality-assured social welfare advice with capacity to respond to the specific needs of the Armenian community in the UK. Annually we help 500+ Armenians living in the UK but born in 25 different countries with various obstacles they experience to settle and integrate. Each person has their own story of flight, survival and rebuilding. We are very sensitive to this and always strive to treat each person/family with respect. Offer practical pathways to get their voice heard through advice and advocacy services to greater independence, empowerment and fulfilment in a very dangerous and uncertain society.
Below are examples of how we helped transformed the lives of two households who were affected from the unrelenting impact of wars, social upheavals and economic crises taking place at any one time and place in the world.
Miss A is over 60 and partially blind. She came to London as refugees with her parents and brother after escaping the troubles in Iran. The family lived in private rented accommodation in Ealing Borough for over 30 years. During this period, her parents had passed away. The property was in long term disrepair and neglected by their landlord, who commenced possession proceedings to take it back two years ago. Both Miss A and her brother were facing homelessness. The CAIA Advisory Service helped them both obtain a Legal Aid Solicitor and defend their possession proceedings. Unfortunately, during the process, Miss A suffered a mental breakdown and was hospitalised which led to her welfare benefits being cut off by the DWP. The CAIA Advisory Service continued to advocate with the London Borough of Ealing, DWP and their Solicitor. Through the perseverance of the CAIA Advice Worker, Miss A was repaid over £20k of benefit arrears by the DWP. In addition, both Miss A and her brother were provided with long term Sheltered Housing accommodation thanks to CAIA’s support. While Miss A is still struggling with her mental health, her housing and financial situation has stabilised and greatly improved.
Mr S is a 48-year-old Armenian man who was born and grew up in Iraq until the first gulf war, which lead his family seeking refuge to Sweden. He left Sweden in 2014, arriving in London following increasing racial tensions in that country. The CAIA Advisory Service at that time advocated (prior to Brexit) to help him to legalise and integrate into the British society as an EEA job seeker and subsequently as an EEA worker. CAIA helped Mr S gain job search skills and subsequently obtained permanent employment. When Mr S’s permanent status came up for maturity following the expiry of over 5 year’s residence, CAIA advised him to pass his Life in the UK test and English Language examination, following which, we assisted him in completing his application for naturalisation. Within a year, a delighted Mr S become a British Citizen. Mr S demonstrated his gratitude to CAIA by subscribing as a member and offering to volunteer whenever he could.
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