Alice Chigumera

Born: 15th May 1965

Harare, Zimbabwe

Date of interview: 31st May 2006

Map showing where Alice Chigumera came from

Was that privately rented?

Yes privately rented and the rent was approximately about £600.

Well looking at it, I could manage to sort of, I shared a bedroom with my kids, it was furnished but I had to find two beds, I was helped by the Refugee Support Group here in Reading, to get extra beds. Things were really quite tight for me and came and stayed at that place and managed to register my children for school at New Christchurch School which is in Milman Road, where they started their school.

In the morning I'd take them to school and drop them, but my work was more or less flexible because I would finish approximately around one or two as a carer and then go and pick them again at three o'clock and be with them for the evening and all that. If I had to get an extra shift, I would ask my niece, to sort of baby-sit for me, because I really needed the money and I would work so hard.

I stayed in that place from March 2003 up to December 2003, when I saw that I could manage to sort of get a two bedroomed flat with my, the income that I had had and moved in to Highgrove Street, 33 Highgrove Street, where I got a two bedroomed house, when I moved in it's just behind Whitley Street, it's nearby so it was easy for me to walk with the children again, walk in to town.

One thing that I'd found with Reading again was it's quite accessible to any place that you want to go like going in to town it just takes you just five, ten minutes in town, it's very flexible and there's a lot of countryside, small town and all that where you can go and be with your kids and they feel much secure. You end up feeling the community helps you to look after your children in one way. There's one or two odd thugs but you rarely hear of incidents that are happening as great as other cities are and you know that one way or the other, things will be dealt properly if it's racial discrimination, it's done in a procedure where it's not over-ridden. Here there's different cultures here where you meet lots of black people, lots of Asian people, lots of different kind of people and you learn lots of things.