The British Library

Stephanie’s Story

My two boys and I moved here along with their dad in 2014. The boys were three and five. We were living in Canada but when things weren’t right for all of us we decided to move to Cornwall, where their dad is from.
After a year here I became a single mother and worked as a teacher and waitress to keep us going. The immigration process was very difficult, with no recourse to public funds and very little support. We moved six times in six years due to houses we rented being sold for second homes and increasing rental prices.
But we loved the beaches and swimming in the sea and rambling through the countryside and enjoyed walking together, everywhere.
It’s been eight years and we have a new family structure with stepdad and a dog and a permanent home, yet I am still not a permanent residence status. It has cost a lot of my new, anxiety, worries. Just two more years to go. I cannot imagine what it must be like for people who don’t speak the language or who have come without their families and are trying to get them in.
My boys are more British now. The youngest has an accent and they say things like “trainers” and “jumpers” and “mate.” Cornwall will always be our home. I’m glad we came, but the challenges have made it difficult to stay, at times. Thank god for Hayle beach and the clean sea and Cornish air.

- Stephanie, Cornwall

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