Sylwia moved to England, from Poland, when she was 25 and could speak very little English. She met her husband in Yeovil and three years later they were married. The couple have two young children.
She was working in a local bakery and was promoted from the production line to team leader and then to Bakery Assistant. During this time she managed to teach herself English and even became a translator between management and the workforce.
The start of what should be a heart-warming story.
But Sylwia found herself living next to ‘nasty neighbours’ – one of whom was abusive and prejudiced and she had to obtain a restraining order for harassment.
In 2018, she had an emotional breakdown.
Her work was demanding, the situation with her neighbours had taken effect on her mental health and, due to Brexit, many of her friends and family had returned to Poland leaving her without the support of the community she’d been part of.
Sylwia felt she had nobody to turn to. And then she discovered Positive People Somerset.
She was appointed a Change Coach, Gill from Abri (one of Positive People’s partner organisations) who met with Sylwia on a regular basis.
She was enrolled on an SIA (Security Industry Association) course but had difficulties in learning.
It transpired that Sylwia had been diagnosed as dyslexic when she was living in Poland but this had not yet been recognised in England and it was presumed her progression was slower due to the language barriers.
Positive People funded a Dyslexia Assessment through the British Dyslexia Association and provided transportation and moral support and guidance for Sylwia to attend an English language course at Yeovil College. Having young children, her family commitments and routine meant organising the four-hour return journey proved challenging.
Digital equipment was also funded through the programme to assist with digital training provided through another partner; Cosmic. She was also able to use this to assist with her language development.
Her Change Coach, Gill, liaised with her college tutors to ensure she had the extra time and support she needed in order to study.
“I have much more confidence now that I’ve proof of my dyslexia,” says Sylwia.
“My Change Coach has given me the support to engage with professionals to obtain the correct help.”
And Sylwia says it’s been the regular contact with Gill that’s proved invaluable; “Gill helped me achieve the small steps to achieve my aspirations.
“In the past I struggled to leave the house so it was a big relief when Gill took me to the Dyslexia Assessment.
“I couldn’t have made the journey alone and my husband was unable to take the time off work,” Sylwia adds.
With more confidence and less anxiety, Sylwia intends completing her SIA course and applying for her SIA licence so that she can look for work in the security sector of the NHS.
Good luck Sylwia, we are behind you all the way.
Here to help
Abri is a housing provider with a deep connection to communities. Abri delivers on lots of different contracts and Change Coach Gill facilitates that service for the Positive People Programme in Somerset on behalf of Abri.