Poles in Need was established in 2015 as a pilot project based in Ealing, West London, registered in August 2016, and re-registered in 2017 as a Community Interest Company. The organisation was founded by Polish community worker Anna Janczuk who voluntarily supported Polish individuals suffering from substance abuse, mental health issues and family challenges. These challenges were caused by not only by language barriers but also cultural differences, as well as fear of accessing services, particularly in relation to safeguarding of children. Poor knowledge of what is available in relation to health and well-being also impacted on a poor uptake in services. In order to support the increasing numbers of suffering individuals the project was transformed into non-profit community organisation.
In October 2016 we set up the Familia Support Centre project and moved our office to the Polish Social and Cultural Centre in Hammersmith, West London. Since our establishment we have successfully held a number of community events, conferences and short-term projects. Through this we have gained the trust and built relationships with the ever-growing Polish community. We have created valuable partnerships with other third sector organisations and institutions, e.g. Polish Embassy in London, Mayor of London Office and Barnardo’s.