“When you picked me up from the airport, I ran away from you because I thought you were going to kidnap me. Now I know you always help us.”

That’s what a child refugee told volunteers at Slough Refugee Support, which has given aid to people fleeing violence and persecution from more than 18 countries since its founding in 1997.

Sitting in a slightly unassuming office building just off the busy Bath Road, the charity’s CEO Taz Mohammed told the Observer the work there is “never ending” – not least due to the rise in conflicts around the globe in recent years.

He said: “We get refugees from all over the world – from 18 different countries over the years, including Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan and Kosovo.

“We’ve been lucky enough that we have enough volunteers and staff who speak different languages.”

The charity exists to support refugees and asylum seekers with adjustment to life in the UK – whether that be with language classes, assistance in accessing key services and even food.

Entering the main lobby area, there are large packages of vegetables waiting for distribution.

Mr Mohammed told the Observer that the lack of certainty can be a key source of frustration for refugees arriving in the UK, many of whom end up waiting a long time to receive updates on their status.

“If they do get a refugee status, then there are challenges in getting benefits, opening bank accounts and getting a GP registration,” he added. “We are working very hard with the NHS to try to get them registered.”

The escalations of conflict in Sudan and Afghanistan are among the world developments to place even greater pressure on the services the charity offers.

But securing funding to keep their work going is also a key effort for the charity as well.

“It’s not easy,” he said. “It’s a rollercoaster for our charity. Over the Covid period, we were really struggling. But with funding from the NHS and the National Lottery, we’ve been able to keep things going.”

However, also pointed to the successes and positive response the charity has had from the refugees they have helped.

“We picked up a family from the airport, who were complete strangers to the UK,” he said. They didn’t even know us. We had to bond with them, and then we mentored them.”

He added: “This is my passion. I come from Kenya myself, so I know what poverty is.”

Anyone who wishes to donate to Slough Refugee Support can do so via the charity’s website.