A FAMILY has settled in Droitwich after fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Alparsalan, whose surname is not being revealed for his family’s safety, was living in the capital Kabul in 2021 with his wife and two young children.

The Taliban’s summer offensive saw tens of thousands of civilians and military personnel evacuated and heavy loss of life.

Alparsalan, whose father had been a colonel in the Afghan army, worked for the British military in various roles from translator to linguistic supervisor to training the Afghan Security Forces.

The cultural advisor dealt with human resources, logistics, finance and communications with a special focus on gender equality and empowering women within the nation’s security forces.

With the collapse of Kabul and frightened of retribution, Alparsalan packed up his office at the airport, including NATO computers, and went home to continue listing people who were in immediate danger and in need of evacuation.

But he was himself identified by the British Army on the list before being joined by his family and younger brother on the next flight out.

Alparsalan, who studied international relations at Kabul’s university, said : “On 17 August 2021 – two days after Afghanistan fell into the Taliban’s control – I was evacuated with my family and my younger brother to the UK.

“As part of the British government’s resettlement programme for Afghans – ARAP – I was introduced to Worcestershire County Council to rehome me. As a result I secured a home in the Wychavon district.”

He was referred to the Building Better Opportunities scheme by his resettlement support worker at the council in September 2022.

Natasha White, the council resettlement team’s operations manager, said: “At the first engagement appointment it was clear to the job coach that Alparsalan was very conscientious and determined to find employment or undertake training.”

The team finds homes, helps to settle families into communities, assists with accessing medical support, ensures children are enrolled in school, helps with converting qualifications into those recognised in the UK and helps find employment or education.

The primary goals set for Alparsalan were to get administrative or customer service work and he made a great impression on Platform Housing Group job coach James Ward.

James said: “Meeting Alparsalan reinforced my view that someone like him just needs one good opportunity and they will seize it and succeed.

“He was feeling despondent at the start of our work together as he had been trying really hard to find employment without success.

“During our work he came to accept he needed to broaden his job search to include more possible careers.

“This helped him to stay motivated. When I introduced Platform as an option he was very keen, being a Platform customer and needing a job that ideally involved hybrid working as he has young children.

“Alparsalan was very easy to coach - motivated, open to advice and proactive. He is a thoughtful and intelligent person with professional experience that some of us will never achieve.

“He has so much to offer. When he told me he had been selected for interview I was absolutely thrilled for him.”

Alparsalan was offered an apprentice and qualifications administrator job on the same day as his second interview and then accepted a permanent role as a strategic assets management assistant when his temporary job finished.

He added: “My career aspirations are centred around constant growth and enhancing my skills.

“I really am passionate about creating a positive impact. I feel very proud to be able to contribute to Platform’s journey. As an immigrant I had to leave family and friends behind but my colleagues have embraced me and now I have a very wide group of friends within the company.

“It’s a very friendly and diverse place and I feel very welcomed.

“Although my family is settled here and I have been so welcomed, accepted and supported, I would love to return to my homeland in the future if things change.

“My parents and one brother are still there and, with other siblings in Canada and Belgium, I have a longing for the most important unit - family.”