Syrian refugee nominated for award by Prince Charles' charity

Hassan Alkhawam, 23, fled the conflict in Syria and found a home in Northern Ireland

The charity founded by Prince Charles helped Hassan Alkhawam with his English skills. Screen Grab/Facebook

A Syrian refugee living in Northern Ireland is in the running for a 'rising star' award from a charity founded by Britain's Prince Charles.

Hassan Alkhawam, 23, fled the conflict in Syria and found a home in Northern Ireland. In September he began studying software engineering at Queen's University Belfast, one of the region's most prestigious academic institutions.

Before being accepted he had to take an English language course, but didn't have the money to pay for it and was not working.

After contacting the Prince's Trust, he was given a grant to cover the fees for the English course. He also took part in a four-week retail training scheme organised by the charity and, after completing it, took on a job at Tesco.

“I found the programme really interesting; I think it is a great opportunity. Everyone was amazing and I was delighted to be offered a job at the end of it," he said.

“I’ve been working there for nine months now, right through the Covid-19 pandemic. The stores have been busy, but it feels good to be helping during this difficult time.

“It is great to be earning money and living independently, I’ve made lots of new friends and am proud to work for Tesco. I also was accepted to university and started my course in Software Engineering at Queens in September," he added.