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Welcome to Nicole!

We’re very excited here in the Restore office today, as our team of 4 becomes a team of 5!  We’re delighted to welcome Nicole Gilmore, our new Befriending Women’s Worker, to the Restore family.

Nicole has been working in immigration advice work and has gained experience in the refugee field through involvement with two charities in Sheffield.  She’s also been a cross-cultural befriender in Portugal.

To introduce herself, Nicole wrote the following:

I was born in Uruguay but grew up in inner-city Nottingham where a lot of our church community were asylum seekers and refugees. This gave me an awareness from a young age of the experiences of asylum seekers, as well as the benefits of cultural difference and diversity and the challenges often faced in the path to integration.

I studied Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Sheffield and through my year abroad had lots of opportunities to work with charities abroad. I worked at ServetheCity Lisbon who’s main aim was to provide support and social activities to vulnerable people in society, such as the elderly and homeless. The main projects I worked with were Befriending based and included a weekly community dinner with the homeless and fortnightly workshops with the elderly. I loved these sessions and learned a lot about how even a simple conversation or interaction can massively benefit someone’s wellbeing.

The past year I’ve been working as a Paralegal at an Immigration Advice Service in Sheffield, has allowed me to learn about the legal aspects of integrating into the UK and the many challenges when working with the Home Office. During my time in Sheffield, I volunteered with some incredible organisations such as ASSIST and City of Sanctuary which work with asylum seekers and refugees. This work gave me an important insight into the issues facing asylum seekers in the UK and gave me the opportunity to build relationships with people who were experiencing them first-hand. I have always preferred the relational side of this work and am excited to have the opportunity to work at Restore and get to know, and learn from, the people who use Restore’s services.

We are looking forward to having additional capacity for our befriending work with women and also to restarting group activities on a more regular basis.  As Nicole is new to Brimingham, her induction programme will also include an introduction to the wider refugee sector in Birmingham.  Nicole started on 11th October and will usually be working on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.  Do get in touch and welcome Nicole.  You can email her to say hello by clicking here.

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