Top learner title goes to Syria refugee

Published on: 27 Oct 2017

 A REFUGEE from Syria has been named as South Gloucestershire  Community Learner of the Year.

The annual event is organised to reward and celebrate achievements of people who have taken courses over the past year.

Hecham Alsaiyad, 39, worked as a pharmacist back in Syria but the civil war in his country forced him to leave. He came to the UK under the refugee resettlement programme to make a new life for himself and his family.

Hecham, his wife and his three children arrived in November last year and have been living in Patchway since.

Keen to get on with his life, he enrolled on two English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses and also spent many hours studying English at home in his determination to excel as quickly as possible. 

He said: “It has been difficult at times settling into a new life but I have found that the people I have met have been friendly and very supportive.”

Hecham also has aspirations to go to university and is interested in researching stem cell science. Council chairman Ian Blair said: “One of my charities this year is Borderlands, an organisation which reaches out to refugees and asylum seekers who need help to settle in to communities, so I’m delighted to see Community Learner of the Year go Hecham who has overcome so many difficulties to succeed in this new chapter of his life.”

www.southglos.gov.uk/communitylearning

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