asif's story

Find out more about Asif’s story and journey with akt.


Asif was referred to our service in May 2021. Asif came to the UK from Pakistan on a student visa, he was being supported by family in Pakistan and was living with his uncle in the UK whilst studying.

He came out as gay halfway through his course and his uncle asked him to leave his home, and his parents stopped supporting him financially as a result, which is why he contacted akt for help.

how akt supported asif:

Asif* was also supported to gain access to specialist immigration advice and support to change his student visa to an asylum claim following estrangement from his family.

Asif had to change his status from an international student to an asylum claim, which meant he had to leave university because he was unable to pay for the course fees. This left Asif in approximately £8,000 worth of debt.

We worked very closely with Immigration Aid to support Asif to liaise directly with the university to arrange a payment plan for the debt. With support from Immigration Aid, we wrote supporting letters to the university to request that the debt was written off due to personal circumstances and that Asif would have continued with the course if he could have afforded to do so. After months of meetings, discussions and letters, the university has agreed to write off the debt.

Asif was supported into a house share, and we gave him support to help him manage in his accommodation as he hadn’t lived independently before.

We supported Asif with access to the mentoring scheme and youth engagement, which gave him the opportunity to meet other young people and make friends.

We also supported Asif with emergency support such as food packs and with independent living fund support as Asif wanted to join a local football team, we helped him buy a kit.

Within the two years that Asif has been with us, he’s been a part of many different projects, and has helped us with recruiting new staff, volunteers and trustees. He attended the Labour Party conference and met with the equalities minister.

Asif has now received Indefinite leave to remain status and has now started full time work in sales. Asif’s plan is to save money and then return to his accountancy studies in the near future.

*Asif’s name has been changed to protect his identity, but his story is real.

I have no words to explain how thankful I am to akt for the support I have received during all this time. It has helped me to increase my confidence and I have learnt so many things. In short, I want to say that akt is like a family, and like a home, and has been shelter for me as I know I've been able to return at any time if I have needed support.
Asif, akt service user