Funding cuts force Eildon to axe support

FUNDING has been pulled for a support worker helping foreigners who have moved to the Borders.

Scottish Government cash which paid for Eildon Housing Association-based support worker Magda Wojcicka was stopped at the end of March.

The association’s chief executive Nile Istephan said: “We would have liked for the service to continue had the funding been available but the services and advice is better from service providers generally now. They are more used to dealing with people from other countries and there is a lot more available on the web.”

Ms Wojcicka gave advice to people whose first language was not English about how to access services such as education and housing, helping more than 400 clients in the last three years of the five-year post.

Mr Istephan said: “The service was used pretty extensively: if you don’t know how the system works you might need someone to help you and point you in the right direction.

“Initially it was very important. Around the time it was set up there was a huge influx of people from Eastern Euorpe coming to work in the Borders and at that stage a lot of services weren’t used to dealing with people from other countries.”

But he added: “We need to monitor the situation.

“International labour markets move in different ways and if we get an influx of people from different countries it would depend on what the needs of the incoming population would be and how people like us could work with the statuatory authorities with that.”