Merton Giving Fund helps the Association for Polish Family to continue its support during the pandemic.
The pandemic and subsequent lockdown has been a hugely frightening time, more so for those living in a country where the language is not their first, and their fears over not being understood prevents them from accessing vital services.
With the help of funding through Merton Giving, the Association for Polish Family has been expanding its digital services in order to continue to support those who might struggle to get crucial information during the pandemic.
The charity provides support and advice in areas such as wellbeing, health, social and economic deprivation to Polish and EE communities. During the lockdown, it saw increased demand for its help, while also facing the challenge of providing support when face to face meetings were not possible.
Says Slawek Szczepanski of the Association for Polish Family: "There are coronavirus support hubs but Poles are not accessing Covid-19 specific services as there is a language barrier, this is compounded because of anxieties that their English is not good enough and they would not be able to explain what their needs are.”
With the grant, the Association for Polish Family was ble to purchase extra IT equipment, which enabled them to work remotely and ontinue to support the local community.
"It is a challenging time for our members and for us as an organisation," Slawek adds. "But the approach and empathy from my staff has been amazing, and the community mobilisation, volunteering and support offered is just outstanding.”