Kalina Shah is like many 23-year-olds – she’s a bubbly, chatty masters graduate who’s busy applying for jobs. But she also volunteers tirelessly and selflessly at our London clinic, where she helps the city’s most vulnerable people get access to healthcare.

“I like seeing people face to face, and being able to help them on a personal level and immediately,” she says of her role as a volunteer case worker, which she does 4-5 days a week. “It’s not something that [feels] distant and theoretical.”

As a case worker Kalina talks to new patients and assesses their needs. She writes proof of address letters that help them register with a GP, if they don’t have all the documents that many surgeries ask for. She says many patients don’t know that everyone in the UK has a right to primary care, regardless of their immigration status.

She also assesses whether patients need to be referred to organisations that provide non-medical services, such as charities that support victims of domestic violence. And she puts in follow-up calls to particularly vulnerable patients who have recently visited the clinic.

With all the hate and horrible things happening in the country right now, with how migrants are being portrayed in the media, it’s about reassuring people there are organisations here to help them and that they’re not alone.

Kalina says anxiety and stress are among the main problems that bring people to the clinic - many patients have PTSD and cannot sleep, while others have stress-related physical conditions such as gastroenteritis. She has seen patients from as all over the world including Afghanistan, China, Uganda and Albania.

She is often struck by the patients’ sheer resilience: “People come here with horrible situations and despite that they are still upbeat and happy with what they have...Many have been to hell and back and they’re still managing to get on with their lives. You’re always surprised by the courage and motivation they have.”