As the Connecting Opportunities project comes to an end, the team have collated case studies of project participants to share. One of these case studies is Toya’s journey with Connecting Opportunities. Read on to find out more.
When Toya first joined the Connecting Opportunities project in May 2022, she was an asylum-seeker with the right to work jobs on the shortage occupation list in the UK. She was proactive and keen to find opportunities, but she just needed a little help to get started.
“Before I joined Connecting Opportunities my life had no direction, I was not focused or looking forward to anything, I was at a point where I gave up on myself. But the chance I was given by CO was like another chance to life.”
– CO Champion
Soon after joining the project, Toya interviewed to volunteer as a CO champion and got the position! The CO champion lead said:
“Toya has progressed really well since I met her. She was shy and apprehensive, but now takes on new challenges with surety and confidence.
She didn’t have a solid plan for her future but now knows where she wants to be and how she can get there. She has built in contingencies too, so her future is looking really positive.
I’m so glad to have met her!”
“The responsibilities we were given really gave us a sense of belonging, that we were part of a family that continued to support us to thrive.
Being a CO champion has pushed me to come out of my shell, it has made me realise that I am able to achieve anything I put my mind to. “
Toya’s key worker sent her information on local activities, Leeds Baby bank, and her local food bank, and helped Toya write responses to requests for information from Toya’s solicitor, to support her asylum claim.
They also managed to acquire a desktop computer for Toya through the charity Solidaritech:
“that completely changed my life as I started to learn more and practice more using Microsoft, typing business plans, creating logos and websites”