Former asylum seeker: 'Red Road gave me a new dream'

A FORMER asylum seeker is showing how the Red Road flats changed his life.

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As a teenager, Emmanuel Anusoro fled persecution in Nigeria and was given a home in the city tower blocks.

Now the buildings face demolition, Emmanuel is determined to tell people how living there changed his life.

The 23-year-old said: "I grew up in Nigeria, where there was a lot of hatred and innocent people died for no reason.

"When I came to this flat in Glasgow, I'd begin to imagine what my future was going to be. I had a new dream, a fresh chance.

"My intention is to show people that no matter your situation, if you believe in yourself, work hard and are positive, you will make it in life."

Although Emmanuel, who came to the UK 10 years ago, has since moved out of the area, he considers his time living at Red Road as positive, despite the towers' troubled history.

He said: "At night I would look out the window around the city and think this is the real land I've been dreaming of. Here is a safe place for me.

"I want to show people that even when times are really hard and they feel like there's nothing left, they can find hope."

Labour Patricia Ferguson MSP grew up at Red Road. She said: "My family were one of the first to move there in 1966 when it was opened.

"There were all sorts of gadgets and innovative things that made it quite an exciting place for children.

"It was very rapid deterioration that occurred. Elements of bad design as much as anything else made it a very difficult place to live for a while."

Emmanuel is now working with Fixers - a UK-wide charity that supports young people aged 16 to 25 to tackle any issue that matters to them, however they choose.

Each Fixer is supported by the charity's creative professionals to produce a resource to get their message across.

Many young people choose to create a short film, website, poster campaign, information leaflet, or hold an event or flashmob .

They have campaigned on issues as diverse as cyber- bullying, self-harm, suicide and the need for more random acts of kindness.

Fixers has already supported around 13,000 young people across the UK, and aims to work with over 70,000 by 2020.

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