SNAP Cymru has been delighted to  welcome Jenny to our team as part of a partnership with the Sanctuary in Wales project.

Jenny is originally from Kuching in Malaysia. After flying from Singapore to London Heathrow with her siblings; two younger sisters (one of whom is at primary school and one is about to enter high school in Newport and an older brother), she initially arrived in Bournemouth, where the International Care Network (ICN) gave Jenny advice on seeking asylum status. From here she travelled to Croydon, Cardiff and finally to Newport.

The Welsh Refugee Council in Newport directed Jenny towards the Sanctuary at Bethel Church and Oxfam’s Sanctuary Project Co-ordinator Jenny supported her integration into SNAP Cymru.  This project offers refugee women and women seeking asylum, training and work placements enabling integration into local communities and helps tackle the issue of isolation, for one of the most under-represented groups in the current labour market.

Jenny has been able to continue to practice her piano skills at her home in Newport after being given an electric piano and personal lessons. Jenny has subsequently achieved a Grade 5 Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) certificate at both theory and practical level. Furthermore, Jenny has also passed the TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test) as part of a Cambridge University course in partnership with the Sanctuary Project and helps to translate Chinese to simple English to help support workers at the Sanctuary in Bethel Church.

SNAP Cymru was approached when Jenny searched for volunteering opportunities on the internet and found us.

Jenny was understandably nervous when she first came to us, but has been able to improve her everyday communication skills and confidence significantly. As such, she has quickly adapted and thrived in her role, successfully completing any tasks she been given.

Jenny has now been in Wales for ten months and though, currently unable to gain employment she finds volunteering very fulfilling and a great way to gain experience, meet new people and simply help out. Most importantly, she feels she is part of our team and, quite correctly, is making an important contribution.