I am British but Proud of my Polish Roots

As a result of the recent incidents of racial hatred which may have been instigated by the EU referendum, I have decided to change my surname to it’s original Polish roots.

I have done this in support of all people from other countries who now reside in the UK and call it home. My grandad was a Polish paratrooper who spent time in a Russian gulag and after being liberated came to fight again for Britain. After the war he gained his British citizenship and settled in Scotland where he established a successful career as a photographer and died in 2014 at the age of 95.

When my grandad settled in Scotland he shortened his name to make it appear more British and to avoid the persecution many Poles experienced at that time.

It is over 70 years later and this persecution is still happening to people from all nationalities so instead of hiding my roots, I am now honouring them and all those who may be living in fear of attacks. We need to be doing our bit to reassure them and speak openly about the benefits our diverse backgrounds have had in our society.

Lisa Samsonowitz