Jadwiga

Jadwiga came to the UK from Poland in 2010. She soon found employment as a warehouse worker, which she combined with a part-time teaching position at a Polish school.

She then worked for a leading international infrastructure company as an office administrator, and later on in the probation sector as part of a learning and development team, coordinating training for probation officers.

Jadwiga is currently working as a personal development coordinator for an organisation that helps individuals struggling with homelessness, offending, substance misuse and mental health problems. She is also keen to explore her creative side and is furthering her skills as a photographer, hoping that one day she will be able to combine her passion for helping people with her passion for photography.

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Brexit was like a slap in the face, it was so surreal I didn’t really believe it. I sensed the effects overnight, the situation totally flipped. It’s as if before people had to respect you but now they have invisible permission to victimise you. It’s awful.
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My friend works closely with the Polish community and regularly comes across stories about how they are being victimised, not just by some people in this country but by other nationalities as well. Things like not being served well at stores, cashiers being unpleasant to them, things like that. It doesn’t exactly make you feel welcome.

I am very worried that this wave of hate will continue and that it will get worse when we actually leave the EU. I will affect innocent people who work hard, and that is really unfair.
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I am trying not to worry about things I have no control over, and I feel pretty secure here because of my job and my house. Also, on a positive note, the day after the referendum my manager went out and bought all Polish workers flowers to show his appreciation and that we are welcome. That was amazing, and this is what I hold on to, more than the prejudice that might be out there.