Long launches services for Polish people

East Belfast MP Naomi Long has launched a new Polish service in her constituency, giving people the same access to advice and assistance as other constituents, but in their native language.

The move will include a native Polish speaker working in Mrs Long’s constituency office at 56 Upper Newtownards Road, who will be the first point of contact for those who find it easier to converse in the Polish language.

Mrs Long said the service was a response to the growing diversity of constituents seeking her help and had been in development over recent months with the assistance of the Belfast Migrant Centre.

“It is important to me that people who move into East Belfast, regardless of where they have come from, feel part of the community. Access to services such as being able to seek help from your MP is a vital cornerstone of democracy, one of which more people will now be able to avail.

“I already provide services in a number of languages and formats, drawing in people from all backgrounds, but I felt that due to the increasing volume of Polish people contacting me, a dedicated Polish-speaking member of staff was a way to make things more accessible for people from that community. I have been working for a number of months with the Belfast Migrant Centre and a caseworker is now in place.

“Often people have good conversational English, but find form-filling or official issues more difficult and help in Polish would make life easier. I would encourage those who would find this useful to contact my office to make an appointment, to ring with queries on a Thursday afternoon, or to e-mail us their enquiries. Hopefully, it will be a useful addition to the services which we offer for everyone in the constituency.”

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