Centre for Rural Economy

Heidi Saxby

Heidi Saxby

Interrogating the relations between wellbeing and seasonal migration on Polish and Romanian workers employed in Yorkshire’s horticultural industries.

Email: H.Saxby1@newcastle.ac.uk

Supervisors: Dr Menelaos Gkartzios and Professor Alison Stenning 

Project overview

EU migrant workers are overrepresented in UK horticulture and agriculture. They work in physically taxing conditions and are often obliged to live in substandard housing, manage language barriers and social isolation. Many workers experience deteriorating health during their UK employment but find it difficult to access health care and social support. This is exacerbated by their tendency to adopt circular patterns of migration, moving repeatedly between their home country and the UK. Intending to progress to better work and/or returning home permanently, migrants often cultivate a mind set of transience, enabling them to cope with their current situation but which contributes to a sense of isolation and temporariness.

This research will focus on Polish and Romanian workers employed in Yorkshire’s horticultural industries. It will interrogate the relations between wellbeing and seasonal migration through in-depth interviews and focus groups, seeking workers’ subjective opinions about wellbeing need as situated within their personal histories.

The Association of Labour Providers (ALP); the main agency supporting good practice in labour provision to agriculture are collaborative partners in this research. ALP is a lead partner in the Stronger Together Campaign which networks information and resources to support culturally and linguistically diverse employment communities.