Every month, Asmamaw Sisay Yigeremu travels over six hours from his home in a tiny Cornish village to volunteer at our clinic in Bethnal Green, London. He spends one week every month with us as a case worker, helping the city’s most vulnerable people get the treatment they need.

For our patients, just to be able to come here and get advice and be offered a cup of tea helps them feel they are being considered as a human being. And for some that’s the first time that’s happened for many years.

Asmamaw is an Ethiopian doctor who has studied in the UK, the US and Cuba. He moved to the UK in 2008, after marrying a British doctor who he met while they were both working at a refugee camp in Ethiopia. He is volunteering for us alongside preparing for his PLAB, a test that doctors with non-UK medical degrees must take to practice here.

In his role as a caseworker, he records a new patient’s history and assesses their current needs. He finds their nearest GP practice and, if needed, writes proof of address letters to help them register. He follows up with particularly vulnerable patients – such as children and pregnant women – until they’ve successfully registered.

Over the last year, he has helped people ranging from Ugandan LGBT refugees to Chinese economic migrants. Some people travel from other cities just to get advice and treatment. They often send thank you cards to the clinic afterwards.

One of his most memorable patients was a 17-year-old Afghan refugee boy who had spent four years travelling to the UK, after paying $9,000 to a smuggler.

“I was looking at this boy, this young man, who had travelled all the way and spent four years with no school and I thought: ‘What will be his future?’ he says. “These things are always making me think: How can the world find a better solution to all this?”