Help us keep this family in their home!
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Hi - Nearly 14 years ago Solon Housing Association housed a young, Somalian family escaping the devastating war in their home country in the house opposite us. I was 2 years old and my mum and dad had lived in Southville for 10 years. When they first moved in, Nemo & Nor (the mum & dad) barely spoke English but they quickly assimilated into our neighbourhood and community. The 7 children went to the local Southville Primary School and, when her youngest child started school, Nemo (the mum) was employed by the school where she quickly became beloved by children, parents and teachers alike. 13.5 years later they are now an integral part of our community. They have always gone out of their way to be friendly and neighbourly and are good neighbours to everyone on the street. They participate in our street parties, have helped out when my younger brother & I have been locked out of our house and are just generally the nicest and friendliest family to have around and are an absolute asset to our community. In the best possible way these asylum seekers have integrated fully into our community, into our city, our country and, most importantly of all, our hearts. Nemo now speaks near fluent English and is an absolute credit to her husband, children and her employers, ironically Bristol City Council.
So - when Nemo told me this afternoon that she and her family have been given just 3 weeks notice by Bristol City Council's housing department to 'relocate' her home and family to St George - I was completely astounded, overwhelmed and distressed.
The family have lived in that house for almost 14 years. They get 3 weeks notice to move to another part of the city nowhere near where 5 of the children are educated (4 are at St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School and the youngest - in year 7- has just started at Ashton Park School). How will that impact on their education? Disrupting one of the children in their all important GCSE year and the youngest in their first year at secondary school. Surely this cannot be good for their sense of well being?
What a way to reward this family, who have contributed to and assimilated into our community in every way possible, by moving them out of that community in which they are so dearly loved.
Marvin, please - if you can do anything to help this family's cause - I implore of you to take action. This family consists of good people and they deserve better.
Thankyou very much for taking the time to read this.
Afra Parsons & my family
(Currently in Year 11 at Ashton Park School)
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