Gabriela Smolinska-Poffley

Gabriela Smolinska-Poffley

Roma Support Group

Gabriela Smolinska–Poffley is Roma Support Group’s deputy manager and a Roma Support & Engagement Programme Leader. She has been working with East European Roma communities since 2002. From 2002 until 2005 Gaba ran after school activities for Roma children. These included art and crafts sessions and a reading group; through those activities Gaba was co-responsible for the creation of Colours of Hope: A Little Book by Roma Refugee Children for Everybody, a pictorial book written and illustrated by Roma refugee and asylum-seeking children, which was first published by the RSG in 2003.

Between 2005 and 2011 Gaba ran different health-related projects including Roma Health Awareness and Advocacy and Roma Mental Health Advocacy; facilitating Roma refugees and migrants’ access to health and mental health services. Gaba is a co-author of the Roma Mental Health Advocacy Project Evaluation Report published by the RSG in 2012.

More recently Gaba has been co-managing the Roma Support & Engagement Programme, which is our response to a growing need amongst service providers to ensure specialist interventions for Roma families across the UK. Gaba delivers Roma culture awareness training sessions, a specialist assessment and intervention service for Roma families in crisis. Gaba also supports new grassroots Roma initiatives and community organisations by offering advice on capacity building and development tailored to the specific needs of organisations.

The Roma Support Group (RSG) is the longest established Roma-led charity organisation in the UK. Since its founding in 1998, the organisation has assisted thousands of Roma families in accessing welfare, housing, education, health and employment, as well as empowering Roma communities through a wide range of advocacy and cultural programmes.