Life for asylum seekers in the UK is tough. Many have been tortured, imprisoned or raped in their home country and all have suffered bereavement and separation from family and friends. The situation is then made worse by the many problems of life as an asylum seeker in Britain; low income, social isolation, racial harassment, unemployment, prolonged separation from family, difficulties with cultural adaptation and the fear of being returned to dangerous situations should their asylum applications be unsuccessful.
In the early days, negative media reporting, political antipathy, a lack of educational and employment opportunities and hostility from local communities created a climate which did little to aid the integration process of refugees.
Although things have improved, much still needs to be done to create an inclusive and welcoming society which recognises the enormous contribution to the UK that refugees can make.