A Russian woman who has lived and worked in the Outer Hebrides for six years has set up a website giving practical advice to migrant workers.
Ludmila Macleod lives in Achmore and has recently established a consultancy business Europlan Britain after being involved voluntarily in assisting the growing number of Eastern Europeans adjust to their new environment in the Outer Hebrides.
The new website www.epbr.co.uk gives easy access to such things as employment rights, how to open a bank account, register a car and learn English.
The website gives access to the information in three languages, Polish, English and Russian, and there is an option to subscribe to an e-newsletter to keep updated with news and events for the Eastern European community as well as other events around the UK.
The consultancy business services are largely aimed at migrant workers, although the support services can also be useful for employers and agencies seeking employment advice, translation and communication. The website itself is a vehicle for the services that the business offers and provides information for Eastern European on what to expect on arrival in the UK.
It is estimated that there are between 300 and 700 migrant workers in the Outer Hebrides at any one time, working in food processing, hospitality and construction.
Educated to a degree level in law, Ludmila is fluent in a number of Eastern European languages and her professional background gives her an understanding of the differences between eastern and western social economic systems.
Ludmila said: “Many migrant workers have expressed difficulty in getting the help they need simply because they cannot explain their problems and do not understand what services are available to them. They need better access to information and support with opening bank accounts, interpreting employment law, accessing local health services, legal entitlements and basic information on living and working in the UK.”
HIE Innse Gall has supported Ludmila with a