12:01AM BST 03 Apr 2008
Monica Tkaczyk, 32, Polish. Hotel housekeeper. Lives in Acton Town, west London. Single, with son, Kamil, 14. Arrived in UK: 2004
“I came here because I wanted to find a new life for myself and I wanted to travel and live in a different country. Although I have a degree in politics and economics, I found it very hard to get a decent job in my home country and I ended up working as a cashier in a petrol station.
I came here and stayed with friends at first, but since my son Kamil came over two years ago I have rented a flat above a pizza takeaway shop. I consider this country to be my home country now, so the question of whether I am undermining the economy is not really an issue for me.
I work here and want to stay here with my son. He can have a better life here. He wants to learn about computers and study them at university. He already speaks better English than I do. I would like to get a better job, perhaps in a hospital or a post office, when I can speak English better.
I have everything I want. There are many Polish shops and I have lots of friends, and my son. We are happy here.”