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  • Joe Sims

A bridge over troubled waters...

Morning everyone! Hope you’re all doing brilliantly? Thanks for your overwhelming response to helping other groups to start their own altruistic journeys. Your generosity was so gratefully received and it’ll make the world of difference in helping them hit the ground running and thrive in the toughest few months. Talking of which we received a nomination from Sally who in her day job works as a support worker for vulnerable people at the amazing charity Shelter. She wanted to help a young lad who’d been through so much try to get some much needed normalcy, hope and encouragement after he and his family had to flee their native country for fear of their lives. As well as the nomination I’ve also printed his heartfelt letter explaining what a difference it would make to him and how he’d strive to start “repaying all the kind people who worked hard to help me get there and to be a role model for others and a credit to the people in Sheffield who have shown me so much kindness.” Sound like a brilliant lad to us and we wish him all the best.

Hi 500 Reasons Team, I’m a member of the group but nominating in a professional capacity so it’s from my work email! I’d like to pass on this nomination from one of my colleagues for a client of our Homelessness Prevention and Resettlement Service at Shelter Sheffield. I work as a Support Worker helping vulnerable people settle into new homes after periods of homelessness or unsuitable accommodation and also work with people who at risk of becoming homeless to resolve the issues they are experiencing. My colleague Alison is a specialist in Education, Training, Employment and Leisure and works with our clients to help them find jobs, get into training, settle into communities and so on. We are both currently supporting a refugee family. R (father), Z (mother) and H(son)They have fled religious persecution in Iran and are now trying to settle into life in the UK. R was injured on his journey to the UK and required surgery on his leg. He has limited mobility and is suffering PTSD from his experiences. The family are currently living in a 1 bed flat, with H sleeping in the living space. In Iran, H was a competitive swimmer. He had a real talent for it and won many competitions, both regional and national. The family are all studying English at college and want to build a life here in Sheffield. They are on limited income at the moment and the costs involved in H swimming competitively are prohibitive, they simply can’t afford it. We have tried a few other charitable sources for funding and they have all said no as “swimming doesn’t fit their criteria”. Enabling H to maintain his swimming and start competing again would make such a difference to the whole family. H misses it and R & Z want to see their son thrive again. I’ve attached a supporting letter from Alison and one from H, to give you more info on H’s story. Thank you for considering this nomination, Sally  Here is a letter from H himself: Hello dear new friends  Thank you for helping me feel alive and for helping my wishes come true. (my wishes are coming true).  Thank you for giving me all of these opportunities.    My memories of the days that I had to leave my farther and my brother, was the day I lost hope.  I was depressed with no hope and I had no wish or ability to carry on swimming.   Even when I came to England at the beginning I could not image this situation in my wildest ideas, that I could return to swimming.  I could never imagine that I could be in this position and carry on with my swimming ambitions.    I have missed swimming so much, it was so bad that sometimes I used to dream about swimming, I could see myself in my dreams swimming and after that I met some kind people I think God sent them, and they were put on my path.    I started swimming when I was in 3rd grade (7/8 years old).  Near my school there was a swimming pool and school took us swimming.  The coach there liked the way I swam and asked me to join the team.  The hope of becoming a swimmer has come back to me again, you have given me the hope of becoming a swimmer again.  From the day I was offered help to do this I became so optimistic and hopeful that I could not believe it. I am going to be a swimmer again.  I have been to a few swimming sessions doing my utmost really trying to reach the highest point I can, like Michael Phelps, the famous swimmer.  Every time I go swimming and bring my head out of the water, I feel so grateful to the kind people who made this happen.  I feel happiness and feel like I want to burst. I am doing my best to become a top swimmer and to show all my gratitude to the people who have made this happen for me so far.  Swimming is the only sport which gives me calmness, I can relax when I am swimming. It is a feeling like when you have scored a goal when playing football.  Once I go in the water and start swimming, everything else around me stops and it feels like utopia when I am in the water.  I promise to do my best, be the best I can be get medals and trophies and become a champion and, in this way,repaying all the kind people who worked hard to help me get there and to be a role model for others and a credit to the people in Sheffield who have shown me so much kindness.  Thank you.   H
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