My name is Indre and I am from Lithuania. I arrived in the UK in 2004, having graduated from the Law University of Lithuania. For my first three years in London I worked in a completely different area – corporate catering – during which time I also completed my master’s degree in Human Rights Law. I then volunteered with three different human rights-related charities to get some relevant work experience and landed my first job in an immigration department of a solicitor’s firm. I now work as an advice worker at MRCF and also as a senior legal assistant in a private solicitor’s firm.
Where do you live now? Where have you lived before?
I have been living in London for the last 7 years. I was born and brought up in Lithuania.
Why are you interested in migration?
I am a migrant myself and it is difficult to explain why I became one. It was a number of circumstances that made me come to the UK, rather than a conscious decision to migrate. I am now willing to help those who find themselves in a similar situation and others who were forced to leave their country for one reason or another. I want to spread the word of what help is available, what rights and entitlements migrants may have, and assist them with integration and life in the UK generally.
What do you do at MRCF?
I work with refugees and migrants providing generalist advice, information and guidance on various areas of social welfare law. I do a range of things for the clients, including form filling, drafting letters and making telephone calls on their behalf, assisting with finding a specialist solicitor, and accompanying vulnerable clients to their appointments with other specialists.
How did you come to work at MRCF?
I found a job advert on www.charityjobs.com, applied and was lucky enough to be interviewed to prove that I could do the job! What do you think is unique about MRCF? MRCF is unique in terms of its people and their dedication to work and to the rights and welfare of refugees and migrants. It’s an amazing place to be and to feel a part of. You get a sense of belonging here and experience an amazing atmosphere where everyone treats you as a friend and feels like one.
What issues do you think are most important to
migrants in London?
To be aware of their rights and the services available to them. Life in a new country can be (and is!) so different to the one we have been used to.
What are you looking forward to in the next year?
I am hoping MRCF will secure funding to continue providing advice services to even more individuals and will hopefully register with OISC (Office of Immigrations Services Commissioner) to be able to provide the immigration advice and casework that is so important to our clients!
“You get a sense
of belonging here.”