There can be few terms which divide opinion as instantaneously as “refugee”.

For some, the word denotes human beings desperately trying to escape a war-torn or country in search for a better life; for others, the word conjures images of migrant boats carrying people who will strain the UK’s already creaking public services.

Boshra Hasan, who is originally from Syria and was studying in the UK as a postgraduate, was given no option but to stay on these shores after the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011.

Since then, Syria has become a part of the world where people must consider themselves fortunate to sleep through the night without hearing gunshots in the distance.

But through the East of England’s local government association, more than 170 refugees have been supported in the area so far this year; refugees do not, as some assume, arrive in the UK and get left to inhabit the streets.

Instead, most require support in the form of English language courses, training, business coaching, and counselling.

Mrs Hasan’s grasp of the English language was already strong, but through the strategic migration partnership, she was able to remain in the UK rather than return to a country which has lost hundreds of thousands of people, and seen whole cities turned to rubble.

She explained: “I came here in 2010 to study and to do a masters and a PhD.

“Then the war happened and I couldn’t go back.”

“I wouldn’t have been able to do [those degrees] without the support and funding from MENTA,” she said.

MENTA is an organisation which supports new businesses with training, advice, and access to funding; their support, along with the strategic migration partnership, has allowed Mrs Hasan to help other refugees integrate into society.

“The problem is many refugees don’t know about these services – it’s so important to spread the word as much as we can,” she said.

“I know a lot of refugees who have lots of skills but just need a little help, a little push in the right direction.

“There is help out there like MENTA and the strategic migration partnership they can use.

“With that help they can really flourish.”

Not only that, but refugees as a whole can also have a positive economic impact more broadly, as Ferzana Kusair, a high skills employment advisor at the strategic migration partnership, explained.

He said: “There is a wealth of talent and experience among refugees and we want to help match employers with the perfect employee.

“Many refugees, like Yuriy and Boshra, want to build businesses of their own but just need some advice and support to make it happen.”