I immigrated to the UK from Zimbabwe in 2001. After a month, I found a job in a care home for people with neurological disorders. I worked in the caring profession for nine years and loved working with the people I looked after. These clients trusted me and brought me much joy. I felt part of a family.
This happiness came to an end suddenly as I was arrested because I was working without the correct papers. I spent a year in prison. When I left prison, I found myself destitute (I had lost my two bedroom apartment for which I had been paying regular rent and Council tax).
After living nine years as an independent person reliant on no one but myself, I suddenly found myself dependent on other people’s charity. I am now unable to work at a time when I could be put to use to help vulnerable people when there is a need for qualified personnel and a shortage of experienced workers in the caring professions.
I am very grateful to the charity that has taken me in and has found me a safe place to stay. Many women in my position have been exploited by men with bad intentions. Being a migrant is not a crime. I come from a noble Clan. My great-great grandmother was awarded an OBE by King George for her work for the British Red Cross in Rhodesia. I hope that I will be allowed to contribute again to this country that I have made my home in.