Life turned upside down for Dorota Orzeszek when she moved to Swansea only to discover the Teaching Education Facility degree specialising in social work she had just completed in her native Poland was not recognised in the UK.
With plans to use her skills for the benefit of others dashed and unable to speak English, her confidence fell to an all-time low as she took on childcare and cleaning work to make ends meet.
Determined these barriers would not beat her, Dorota took English lessons at a local college and slowly found courage to apply for various jobs and voluntary roles, eventually joining the Swansea Bay Regional Equality Council (SBREC) as a volunteer.
“I see people coming into the centre that are struggling a lot, just like I did - you haven’t got anyone around you, your friends or family, and there is a loneliness,” she said. “I could just about say hello and goodbye before and had no confidence at all, but the trust Swansea Bay REC showed in me was amazing and the qualifications I achieved during my volunteering work helped me so much.” Dorota Orzeszek