I am from Somalia. My daughter and I came here in 2002 as refugees. My husband joined me in 2007 for a family reunion. We had been married for 30 years and had 6 children together. I joined RWoB in 2017 to learn English. My friend introduced me to the drop-in centre which was local.
In January 2021, my husband went back to Somalia to visit his family for a holiday. 3 weeks later my husband became sick from COVID-19. When I found out that he was extremely ill, my daughter and I flew to Somalia in the first week of February. I landed at 12pm and he passed away at 1am the following day. After he passed away, I was deeply affected. In addition to my sadness and devastation, I was then faced with the challenge of contracting COVID-19 as well. My daughter and I both contracted it. We came back to the UK during lockdown and were unable to have visitors or see relatives. This resulted in my children and I having to grieve alone without the support of family and friends. I was physically ill and exhausted from the journey and COVID-19. RWoB supported me emotionally. After I got the support from RWoB I felt a little relief. They signposted me to the right agencies to help with finances and the things my husband used to deal with. Furthermore, they assisted me if I needed any interpreting and translating services.
RWoB gave me practical support. They called me to see how I was managing. They helped with finances and got me food in bulk and shopping to sustain me and my family. They delivered groceries every Wednesday which came from the food hub straight to my door. RWoB were very helpful and supported me with whatever I needed.
Although I am still grieving and miss my husband dearly, I am trying to stay strong for my children. It will take time to heal however RWoB have been a great support. Whether listening to me or helping me practically. They have aided me mentally and physically so I feel a bit of ease knowing that I can reach out and they will be there.
As I had suffered so much stress, it had taken a toll on my health. I already suffered from arthritis and other health issues. I ended up becoming extremely inactive. I had no energy or any intention of doing anything remotely active, to the point where my children were very concerned, and I was unable to communicate with them. RWoB introduced me to online Yoga classes (Zoom) to help me relieve my stress and keep me energised. Additionally, they introduced me to WhatsApp groups run by RWoB where I could listen and chat to other members. This has helped my mental health and I feel more active now.
RWoB have supported me greatly. They have helped me in managing daily tasks and overall challenges in my life. They have aided me financially and mentally which has taken the pressure and stress off during difficult times. I am so grateful they were there for me in my time of need. I hope that they continue to get the funds so that they can continue to support more people from the community.”
RWoB member – March 202