Phil's Story


A woman is crouched next to the entrance of a tent. Her back is turned and she is wearing a Simon on the Streets hoodie.
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We met Phil (real name not used) during our outreach on the streets at the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak. He was sleeping in a broken tent that was letting rain in. He was cold, wet, hungry and extremely anxious.   

Phil is a Polish migrant. He had no identification, no bank account, no wage slips – no way of proving his existence and no clothes other than the ones he was wearing.  

He informed us that he had previously been working cash in hand and his employer had also provided him with a room. He had received just £15 a day but he had a roof over his head and, to Phil, that had made it worth it.  

With the outbreak of Covid-19 his work and the room were suddenly stopped by his employer without warning. He did not know where to go. With most buildings closed and no way to phone services he didn’t know where to turn. He could not wash or obtain food. He was completely destitute and fearful of how he would live.

We were able to help Phil get a place him in a B&B. This gave us chance to really engage with him and provide intensive support. We helped him attend the Polish Embassy in Manchester so that he can obtain his passport. He is registered at a doctor and has found employment that will begin once his passport arrives. He has built up a social network within the Polish Community. He is also beginning English lessons shortly through a free service with ESOL.  

Emotional support is just as crucial as practical support. Through emotional support we have learned some of Phil’s interests and passions and helped him to explore them. Phil enjoys golf. He has joined online golf forums and uses google translate to communicate. This has helped improve his mental health. He has not yet been golfing but its top of the list once he is back in employment.  

We’re continuing to support Phil as he begins to prepare to go back into employment. Thank you for your support, which lets us continue to help people like Phil.

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