A SUPPORT centre is being launched to provide help and advice to Wrexham's large Polish community during uncertain times.

The Polish Integration Support Centre (PISC) has secured near £10,000 National Lottery funding to offer a range of services to Polish families such as welfare rights, advice on housing issues as well as help tackling the language barrier.

It is estimated between 10,000 and 13,000 Poles live in Wrexham. While some have family links in the area going back decades, many moved to the area after Poland joined the EU in 2004.

Monika Frackowiak, of PISC, says the looming Brexit deadline has encouraged some of them to return to their homeland, but she says many want to make North Wales their home and will benefit from the support PISC will offer, which will also available to other ethnic minority groups.

"We want to offer help with day to day life. For example we can refer people on for expert help if they need it. We can help with the language barrier that many face by laying on ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) courses," outlined Ms Frackowiak, who will run the centre along with fellow Poles Anna Brons and Paulina Jecz.

"Wrexham has long links with Poland going back to the 1940s and the establishment of Penley Hospital," she added. "But part of our work will be to allay the fears that Brexit brings and provide information on the process. It is the unknown and we fear things we don't know."

PISC, which will run as a social enterprise/community interest community, staged a Polish Heritage Day earlier this month at Wrexham Enterprise Hub and wants to continue to promote Wrexham's rich Polish heritage.

One of the highlights of the event was a visit from families of Penley Hospital who travelled from all over the world to attend a commemorative service at Wrexham Museum.

There was also a range of family activities including folk dancing, live Polish music, taekwondo and an exhibition of military vehicles and motorcycles in Queens Square.

This year marks 100 years of Polish/British friendship and during May Polish communities from all over the UK have organised celebrations to showcase their culture and folklore.

The Wrexham event also provided a platform for Polish Businesses to display their products and services with the help of Siema Biz Forum.

PISC Director Anna Brons said: “There is such a willingness for Polish and Welsh communities to work together and the event was just one example of how we can achieve so many positive things if given a chance”.

PISC will be based at AVOW's Egerton Street offices from June 4.

National Lottery Community Funding Officer Catriona Learmont said: "I know the Polish Integration Support Centre has ambitious plans to highlight the long and positive history of Polish involvement in Wrexham."

PISC can be contacted on 01978 312556.