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Helena

Helena

Name: Helena Marchewka
Age: 18
Year of the Fix: 2015
Location: Edinburgh
Campaign: To secure better support for people who don’t speak English as their first language

My team and I don’t speak English as our first language. We came to Scotland from a number of different countries, including Poland, Hungary and Chile.

When we arrived here, we all faced challenges because it was hard for us to communicate.

We really wanted to integrate into our communities, but picking up a new language and understanding a new culture can be hard.

We all benefited from ESOL services (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and feel there’s a real need for more of these courses.

With Fixers, we’ve helped create a film to ask decision-makers to invest in these services, so that young people like us have better support.

Here is a list of Fixers helping me with this Fix:

Jurgita Strungyte Joshua Barnes
Alicja Oraczewska Anita Soos
Zuza Marchewka Martyna Gonalska
Daniel Medina Oney Yeum
Viktorija Dudaita Iwona Wallwmiek
Izabella Szledale Klaudia Rydeanicz
Ibraima Camana Tomas Pizarro

Edinburgh City Council, Community Learning and Development
The CLD team are supporting us. They run the ESOL course we attend, put us in touch with Fixers and have helped facilitate our project.

Spring 2015
Our Fixers film was shown to senior managers in the Community Learning and Development team at Edinburgh City Council, as we wanted to encourage them to invest in ESOL services.

We’ve received positive feedback. You can read some of the comments below.

‘The film made me realise the importance of doing ESOL work with young people still at school to help give them a voice, develop their language skills and improve their confidence in a supportive environment.’

‘The film and the presentation by the young people made me really understand the feeling of exclusion  that young people have when they come to this country, and also the slowness with which the language services kick in for young people.’

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Fixers is a project of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust, funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, and featured on ITV.

Charity No 298643    Company No 2194957