Published On: Sat, Jul 12th, 2014 on 4:22 pm

Bradford student who fought homelessness set to graduate

Ammad Aslam

Student Ammad Aslam is delighted with his results

A student who wandered the streets for a place to seek refuge is set to graduate with a 2:1 degree.

Originally from Rochdale, Ammad Aslam moved to Bradford to study an honours degree in Pharmaceutical Studies at university.

But at home, he faced domestic violence and peer pressure to pursue a career in healthcare. He was urged to live away for his safety, and was later kicked out.

He was homeless for around 12 days, not having any money, food or clothes and had to use a public shower for some time. According to Mr Aslam, he experienced racially aggravated abuse on the streets and at one point, some people burnt cigarette holes in his jacket.

He told the Yorkshire Standard: “The first day I became homeless, I wandered the streets after getting back from Royal Oldham Hospital. The next day, I secretly slept in a mosque basement and then I had cold weather provision at a hostel from 11pm to 8am for about 10 days through Rochdale Homeless Service.

“I felt like I didn’t have any friends, and every time I opened my eyes I saw bad images of what had happened.”

Luckily, Mr Aslam managed to retrieve some personal belongings and had donations of household equipment with the help of generous Bradford residents. He was later invited to live at the residence of a fellow university student.

Whilst studying, Mr Aslam’s benefits were also cancelled and he had no income for around two and a half months.

In total, Mr Aslam has made a total of eight different address changes, and has slept in 14 different places in a period of just one year and four months.

Mr Aslam is to attend his graduation ceremony later this month, and hopes to pursue his interest of health and fitness, hoping to one day become a teacher, a personal trainer or similar.

He has already achieved above a National Minimum Entry requirement for a PGCE.

He said: “I wanted to study P.E. but my family wanted me to study pharmacy. Now I have an opportunity to do something I’m interested in and enjoy more and I’m willing to progress in that field.

“Nothing has stopped my determination to succeed. Even during my stressful benefit appeals I kept on revising. So despite the hardships I’ve faced, it’s worked out well for me.”

He recently achieved a personal best of 70% overall in his last module scoring 87.5% for the first presentation and 71.2% for the second presentation components of the module.

He added: “A lot of people didn’t believe I could do it but I’ve proven them wrong. I went through hell and high water to get where I am today.”

About the Author

Hasan Faridi

- Hasan is the founder and editor-in chief of the Yorkshire Standard. A BA Hons graduate from the University of Huddersfield, he has over four years of experience in newspapers, magazines and radio.

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  1. Brian M says:

    Wish I could have some of his motivation!

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