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Abbas needed help with GCSE English. REUK matched him with a mentor, Diya, who also came to the UK as a refugee.

Abbas came to the UK from Sudan, aged 14. He has wanted to be an engineer ever since he was little and is pursuing that dream every day.

The transition to a new country and education system meant that Abbas felt he needed to work especially hard to catch up with his peers and achieve his potential. We are inspired by his commitment to his studies and determination to succeed.

Abbas enrolled in GCSE classes at a further education college and whilst he found Maths relatively easy, he needed more support with his English GCSE. REUK matched Abbas with a mentor, Diya, who had also come to the UK as a refugee when she was 4 years old and now works as a scientist. Abbas and Diya have made a wonderful mentoring partnership, both in terms of the progress Abbas has made with his English and the strength and depth of relationship they have built together.

Knowing that someone values your future enough to invest their time in you is a powerful source of hope. Diya immediately saw Abbas's huge potential, and through plenty of encouragement and constructive feedback, she is helping him realise the full extent of his capabilities too.

Diya sees Abbas improve week by week but is particularly impressed by the hard work he puts in between sessions, taking feedback on board and asking questions when things aren't clear.

“Mentoring Abbas has been extremely positive right from the outset. He is always early for our sessions and remains fully focused and receptive throughout.”

When Abbas and Diya first started meeting, he spoke very softly and Diya often had to ask Abbas to repeat things. Having come to the UK as a child who also spoke no English, Diya immediately identified with Abbas and told him that she'd also struggled with speaking so quietly that people couldn’t hear. Abbas told Diya that it was “very annoying” because he was always having to say things twice or not be understood. Within a few sessions, Abbas gained the confidence to speak clearly and loudly. Rosy, the Mentoring Coordinator, immediately noticed how much his communication had improved and how happy he was because of it.

This progress is much more significant than just helping him pass his GCSE; Abbas has gained a life skill that will help him in every aspect of his future.

Abbas is planning on starting an Access to Higher Education course in Engineering in September 2021 and hopes to apply to university to begin his degree in 2022.

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