“Don’t let us be another Windrush generation”

UNISON member Chiara Caserotti

Chiara, what’s your job at Natural Resources Wales?

I’m an environment officer in North East Wales, my job involves protecting and improving the water quality and ecology of rivers. I also respond to pollution incidents that unfortunately happen from time to time.

Photo credit: Chiara Caserotti

When did you come to the UK?

I arrived in the UK about 20 years ago, as an Erasmus student, studying Applied Biology at a university in Leicester. Being in the UK at university was so exciting and very multicultural! I’ve always been fascinated by British culture, the music and language.

How are EU nationals living here perceived?

Well, there’s no doubt since the vote to leave the EU, the impression of us in the media has become negative. We’re portrayed as job-grabbers, queue jumpers, of being of no benefit to the country or we’re portrayed as a drain on the NHS, services and housing.

What are some of the barriers EU nationals face in applying for Settled Status?

With my Settled application, fortunately, I am fully employed and have been with the same employer for years, so providing my National Insurance number and passport was all I needed to secure Settled Status.

What do you think of UNISON’s campaign?

It’s great the biggest trade union in the UK is supporting EU nationals and that makes us feel welcome. UNISON realises we are part of public services and providing a positive contribution to the country.

What is your message to UNISON members?

Please take the time to write to your MP using UNISON’s easy website. This is not a joke for us. Don’t let us be another Windrush generation. We desperately need an extension to the deadline for applications to Settled Status so our legal right to remain is confirmed.

How you can help

· Take a minute to write to your MP using UNISON’s campaign website

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