27 May 2022

A Volunteering Success Story

New to the UK in 2003, Slawek started as a volunteer and is now an established member of the Merton community and has recently been elected as a local councillor

Slawek arrived in the UK in 2003 unable to speak English.  As he gained knowledge of the language and his confidence grew he started to volunteer on an informal basis assisting other new arrivals to navigate the necessary systems.  This led to a formal volunteering role with the Association for the Polish Family in 2010 and just a year later become employed as a Project Co-ordinator with the same organisation. He continues to be a strong and committed local advocate for the Polish and Eastern European Community, sitting on many local committees and forums.

When Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year, Slawek was quick to respond, mobilising volunteers and organising donations of provisions including clothing, toiletries and food to be transported to the people of Ukraine.  His original objective was to transport 3 truckloads of goods, but in just a few short weeks, far exceeded this target and oversaw more than 70 trucks of donations making the journey to those in need.   

In the recent May 2022 local elections Slawek stood as a candidate as was elected as a councillor for Lavender Ward.  When somebody said that he was extraordinary, Slawek commented “I do not consider myself extraordinary, I am an ordinary man wanting to make a difference in my community. Something we can all do.”