Asha was very pleased to welcome a group of final year medical students tasked to visit the centre weekly to familiarise themselves with the ‘world’ of asylum seekers as part of learning about local community services.
We are always curious to know how others see us and to learn from the experience of visitors. This is how one medical student describes arriving at Asha.
‘Hidden away on a business park in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent is Asha. It’s difficult to describe in words the atmosphere created by staff, volunteers and service users in this small centre. When you approach the building, it looks unremarkable, in keeping with the surrounding units on the business park. As you walk in the front door and immediately up a cold staircase into the main room, a sea of warm faces greets you. The loud noise of chatter, children playing, laughter, the kettle boiling, a strong smell of fresh toast …. It feels like home. Asha is a place where asylum seekers of all origins, men, women and children are welcome.’
Asha’s clients felt very much at ease with the students as they discussed the issues they have approaching the medical services in a new country. The outcome of the student’s visits is a beautiful printed leaflet, A Guide to Using the NHS, which in simple language and symbols will help an asylum seeker know where to get help and how to tell a doctor or pharmacist about their symptoms..
Asha is pleased welcome a second group of medical students and looks forward to their insights into how the centre works and their insight into what matters most for our asylum seekers.