Feniks was set up in 2007 as a charity supporting integration and aiming at improving the wellbeing of the Central Eastern European Community in Edinburgh. We seek to help individuals and families who have moved away from their homeland in facing the challenges which can result from immigration. Difficulties may arise in one’s personal life or work which necessitate contact with a therapist. In addition, deeper psychological issues may surface which require such contact on a longer-term basis.
The breadth of knowledge and experience of our professional team (gained both in Poland and the UK) allows for the provision of comprehensive psychological help for adults, adolescents and children. It is hoped that the quality of life and personal wellbeing of those with whom we work may then rise to a level sufficient to allow them to function effectively and happily within society.
Social isolation is believed to be one of the major factors affecting mental well-being of the the immigrants. Thus, the aim of our group activities is targeting this particular issue and creating opportunity for the participants to develop meaningful relationships. We organise groups for the particularly isolated people, such as young Polish mothers and Polish people of 50 and over years old. Our Leith Conversation Cafés, however, are open to anyone new to Edinburgh, interested in getting to know new people and conversing about the topics related to migration and adaptation to the new culture.
The key Feniks’s objective is developing social capital, which we achieve through creating volunteering opportunities and supporting career development of the young CEE professionals. FENIKS involves volunteers and we accept applications from CEE students for Erasmus internships, who are involved in running the organisation and delivery of the projects.
Feniks has been recognised as the counselling organisation by the Edinburgh University and we offer placement opportunity for counselling students, who can speak one of the Central Eastern European languages.
We initiated Polish Psychologists Networking Group to create a supportive environment for Polish psychologists, therapists, coaches and mentors for further career development and cooperation to the benefit of the community. Befriend Depression is an annual campaign of free workshops and counselling sessions for Polish people in Edinburgh and beyond.
Feniks works in close partnership with Health All Round, Respekt-Safer Families, Edinburgh Women’s Aid, Shakti Women’s Aid, ELREC, Polish Consulate and Police Scotland. We are involved in the research projects delivered by NHS Lothian Health Board and Glasgow University.
As the organisation we represent interests of the Polish community at the Cross-Party Group on Poland in Scottish Parliament as the leading organisation of the Wellbeing Subgroup. We are also members of Lothian Health Initiatives Forum; Equalities and Rights Network, New Europeans and Polish Professionals Network.