When ‘Patrick’ first moved to the UK he volunteered in a charity shop. He found it interesting to chat to people, they discussed the differences between Africa and the UK. His biggest surprises? English tea and English food, the latter he had to line his stomach for.
Now he can work Patrick has a job at an estate agents in customer care. He takes the calls, shows properties and helps customers make a decision. He says with a smile that he likes his job. “Most of the time they take the property”. He likes the fact that he gets to travel and on any typical day he could be in Finchley, Central London or Croydon.
Patrick recently passed his driving theory test which he is really happy about, but he is most passionate when he is talking about football.
“I like football” he says with a big smile. “Recently it was the World Cup, I would watch it with friends. Before the world cup I would be watching the premiership that will be kicking off again soon. I’ve been to Stamford Bridge, then Wembley and then Tottenham, so three different stadiums to watch football.” So you’re you passionate about football? “Of course!” He supports Chelsea now, but I ask him who he was supporting in the world cup. “I was supporting England as the last time they went to final was in the 1990s when I was a baby. But in the final I wanted France to win because they had eight players from Africa!”
I ask him does football bring people together? “Yes! When the game is going their way. There might be differences within that 90 minutes but when the time is up, after that everyone is friends again. You may be sad for a short time after the game but life goes on”. When I ask him are you happy here in the UK he says “I am living a good life, I’m working, earning and paying taxes”
To volunteer or donate go to www.care4calais.org