Skills for life

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


Magda wants to be a nurse and Piotr a fireman. Anna wishes to make arts like she used to do in her country. Agata would like to work with children. Pawel dreams about his own bakery. Their names are changed, but they are real people.

Since 2004 an estimated 831,000 Polish came to the UK in search of better life. Poland has overtaken India as the most common non-UK country of birth for people living in the UK (Office for National Statistics 2016). Students, young professionals, families with children, adult men and women have made their life in the UK. These “recent” migrants although being professionally active, often work in inadequacy between their diploma/qualifications and their job position and wage. Brexit referendum in 2016 reinforced their feeling of not being entitled to participate fully in British society. But where is their home? What are their dreams?

“Design your life in the UK” is a holistic project which aims to uplift professional skills and to build a preferred future for recent migrants. Often obliged to consider only financial aspect of work, they would be given an opportunity to participate in a self-development program and to bring out their best in their communities.

The project will focus on a group of 12 individuals wishing a real change in their life. The Aviva grant will allow us to run a self-development program on the following themes:
1. Create your preffered future, 2. Design yourself: values & skills & success, 3. Work club: CVs & interviews, 4. Mentoring, 6. Self- presentation “I design my perfect life”: video making & photo session of participants.

The duration of the project: January – April 2018

The host organisation: Polish Expats Association (PEA) is a non-profit organization set up in October 2009 with intention to empower all Central and Eastern European communities in the UK by offering different forms of support, information and personal development.

Since 2012 the Polish Expats Association runs the Erdington Welcome Centre project funded by the Lottery Fund. It is a Community Hub & coffee established to provide the information and guidance services on Welfare Rights, Civic Responsibilities, the British education & health system, Employment. A team of a family support worker and a community engagement worker runs one-to-one consultations, trainings, information sessions, workshops, playgroups, family & cultural events.

Erdington in North of Birmingham is a very diverse, multicultural locality. Although, the main target group of Erdington Welcome Centre are Polish and other eastern European migrants, the regular users of the centre come from various origins & backgrounds.

Polish Expats Association

Moment of Pride

Polish Expats Association promotes equality, challenges discrimination and encourages positive integration. This project will support recent migrants to make a positive change in their lives and to bring the best they can offer to the community.

Location: Birmingham