Association of Polish Artists Abroad (ZASP)
Tel. 020 8567 3134
The Association of Polish Artists Abroad was formed in 1942 to bring together Polish actors, directors, musicians and composers.
Association of Polish Artists in Great Britain (APA)
The Association of Polish Artists in Great Britain, founded in 1955, is a membership society of painters, sculptors, graphic artists, mixed-media artists and photographers. All the members are of Polish descent, being either born or resident in Great Britain. Since 2004, when Poland entered the European Union, an influx of new artists has contributed to an exciting and challenging mix of styles and attitudes in the Association.
For more information, visit www.apauk.org.
Association of Polish Engineers in Great Britain
Tel: 020 8742 6425
The Association of Polish Engineers in Great Britain was established in 1940 by a group of Polish engineers who remained in Great Britain as a result of World War Two.
For more information visit www.stpuk.org.
Association of Polish Students and Graduates in the UK
The Association of Polish Students and Graduates in the UK was established in 1947. It organises sightseeing tours, sporting events and debates on Poland and its culture for young people.
Association of Polish Teachers Abroad
Tel: 020 8995 1417
The Association of Polish Teachers Abroad unites teachers of Polish and lovers of Polish history and culture. It is responsible for establishing schools and educational institutions, and for organising curriculums and teacher training.
Central Circulating Library
Tel: 020 8741 0474
The Polish Central Circulating Library lends Polish books to 23 British public libraries in Berkshire, Clwyd, Dyfed, Essex, Greater London, Greater Manchester, Northumberland, Scotland, the West Midlands and Wiltshire.
In London it lends books to libraries in the boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Brent, Ealing and Sutton.
Committee for the Assistance of Poles in the former USSR
The Committee helps Poles who during and after World War Two – through either deportations or re-drawn borders – found themselves in Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The group was formed by those who managed to escape to the West and wanted to help their fellow countrymen, often family members.
Confraternity of Polish Artists in Great Britain
Tel: 020 8746 3798
Founded in 1976, the organisation promotes young Polish artistic talent, mainly classical musicians and singers. The Confraternity organises monthly 'Coffee & Concert' performances at POSK, and bi-annual gala weekend concerts.
East European Advice Centre
Tel: 020 8741 1288
The East European Advice Centre (EEAC) is a charity that provides advice and support to people from Eastern Europe. It offers free and independent information and advice to help East Europeans to live independently in the community.
Federation of Poles in Great Britain
Tel: 020 8741 1606
The Federation was founded in 1946 when the British government formally withdrew recognition of the Polish government-in-exile (based in London because of the Nazi occupation of Poland) and began diplomatic relations with a new regime that was created following the Soviet invasion of Poland.
From that time to 1990 – when Poland's Solidarity movement successfully toppled the puppet Communist government – the Federation was the voice of Poles in the UK, providing uncensored information on what was happening in Communist Poland.
Today, the Federation exists to support and defend the interests of Poles in Great Britain, and to promote Polish history, culture and traditions.
Federation of Polish Women Abroad
Tel: 0207 3739 939
The Federation was established in 1946 by Wanda Pełczyńska, a member of the pre-war Polish parliament. Its goal was to help and bring together Polish women from all over the world who left the army or who were exiled and found themselves in England.
Joseph Conrad Society (UK)
Founded in 1973, The Joseph Conrad Society (UK) is devoted to the study of all aspects of the writings and life of Polish writer Joseph Conrad. It publishes a bi-annual journal, The Conradian, holds an annual international conference in the early summer, organises an essay competition, and promotes the study of Conrad by offering, when possible, resources and support to scholars without or with limited access to university or other sources of funding.
Józef Piłsudski Institute in London
Tel: 020 8748 6197
Józef Piłsudski was a Polish revolutionary and statesman, and the first chief-of-state of an independent Poland that was established in November 1918 after being wiped off the map of Europe for 123 years. He is most famously known for defeating the Red Army and stopping its surge across Europe.
The Józef Piłsudski Institute is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 10.30am to 4.30pm, but visits at other times can be arranged if agreed with the Secretariat. The Institute has a museum with items donated by Piłsudski's family and other artefacts that were salvaged from Poland from before and during World War Two.
Katyn Families Association
Tel: 0208 763 9336
In 1940, following the Soviet invasion of Poland, Soviet secret police took about 22,000 Polish officers and intelligentsia to Katyn forest and executed them. The Soviets blamed Nazi Germany and denied any involvment. In 1990 the Russian government finally admitted Joseph Stalin had ordered the murders.
The Katyn Families Assocation was founded to spread knowledge about the massacre and honour the memory of those killed. The Association organises regular trips to Katyn forest and maintains the good condition of memorials and plaques commemorating the event.
For more information visit www.federacja-katyn.org.pl (Polish only).
Tel: 0208 741 1940 ext.43 (Tuesdays from 16.30 to 18.00)
During World War Two, Lwów was occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union. After World War Two it became a part of Ukraine (today it is known as Lviv) – with many of its Polish inhabitants expelled from their homes. The Lwowian Circle is a social group made up of those who were born or had strong links to Lwów when it was a part of Poland.
Medical Aid for Poland Fund (MAPF)
Tel: 020 8748 1116
The charity was founded in London in 1981 shortly before the introduction of martial law in Poland. It was established in response to an appeal by Lech Wałesa, then chairman of the trade union Solidarity. MAPF founders were Poles living in exile in the UK supported by their British friends. Together they started the medical relief effort for the country.
Today, the charity raises funds for medical supplies and equipment for hospitals, care homes, children's homes, special schools and individuals in need living in Poland.
Polish Centre Club (POSKlub)
Tel: 0208 742 6415
The Polish Centre Club is situated on the 4th floor of the Polish Social & Cultural Association. It has a licensed bar and restaurant that serves Polish specialities for members and their guests. Other activities include bridge and language classes.
Polish Educational Society
Tel: 020 8741 1993 - (The office is open on Mon, Tues, Thur & Fri from 10am to 4.30pm; Wednesdays from noon to 6.30pm)
The Polish Educational Society co-ordinates close to a hundred Polish Saturday schools and organises examinations, methodological matriculation courses for teachers, exam preparation courses for young people, and competition quizzes about Poland. It also runs a bookstore (next to Cafe Maya on the ground floor), publishes magazines and textbooks.
Polish Home Army Ex-Servicemen Association
The Home Army was a Polish resistance movement in Nazi-occupied Poland. The Association's main objective was to organise social gatherings for Home Army ex-servicemen to meet, discuss political developments in Poland, lobby against the then Communist government of post-war Poland and help those Home Army soldiers remaining in Poland who were persecuted by the regime.
Today few ex-servicemen remain, but those still involved with the association – helped by a younger generation of UK Poles in the form of the Poland Street Association - continue to provide financial assistance to colleagues who remained in Poland, particularly those with disabilities.
For more information, click here.
Polish Psychologists' Association
The PPA is 200-strong group of volunteers made up psychologists, educators and sociologists. It offers support to Poles living in the UK.
For more information, visit: www.polishpsychologists.org.
Polish Scientific Society Abroad
The Polish Scientific Society Abroad was founded by the Polish Research Council in January 1950. The Council was established at the initiative of the then Minister of Education of the Polish government-in-exile, Professor Władysław Folkierski.
For more information, visit www.ptno.org (Polish only).
Polish Trust Association
Tel. 020 8748 1120 (The office is open Mon-Fri from 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm).
Established in 1956, the Trust is managed by the Polish Social and Cultural Association. It deals with bequests, transfers pension and retirement funds to Poland and provides translations of official documents, including marriage and birth certificates.
Polish University Abroad (PUNO)
Tel: 020 8846 9305
The Polish University Abroad was founded in 1939 in Paris by Polish historian Professor Oscar Halecki and with the support of the French government. After the fall of France, the Polish government-in-Exile – based in Paris at the time – moved to London, and with it travelled the Polish University Abroad.
Its mission is to serve all generations of Poles who, outside their homeland, wish to continue their academic studies, broaden their knowledge of the contemporary world and maintain contact with Polish science and culture.
POSK Polish Library
Tel: 020 8741 0474
The POSK Polish Library is a research library specialising in the collection of Polonica, especially Polish émigré publications of all kinds: books, periodicals and newspapers as well as archives, manuscripts and photographs. It was founded in 1942 by the Polish émigré government and has belonged to the Polish Social and Cultural Association since 1967.
Founded in October 2004, the Scena Poetycka (eng. Poet's Stage) organises Polish readings and performances at the Polish Social & Cultural Association.
For more information, visit their Facebook page (Polish only).
Tel: 0208 840 5382 / 07770 765 983
Syrena (eng. Mermaid) Theatre is a children’s and youth theatre set up in 1959 by of 17 voluntary organisations. Syrena stages productions of classic children’s literature, in Polish, involving children from Polish Saturday schools around the UK and professional actors. Syrena has staged dozens of productions in POSK's theatre.
Productions are brought over from Poland and staged, under the watchful eyes of Polish directors, with the participation of local young people. The productions are almost completely organised by children who are not only involved as actors but also in the process of preparing the production.
Tel: 07770 417 819
Tatry is a Polish folk dance group, named after the Tatra mountains in southern Poland. Founded in 1962, the group has appeared on the BBC and performed at London's Royal Albert Hall and numerous festivals.
New members of all nationalities are always welcome to join.
For more information visit www.tatry.org.uk or email
Union of Polish Writers Abroad
Founded in London in 1946, the Union of Polish Writers Abroad brought together exiled Polish writers who felt they could not return to their homeland and express themselves freely in a post-war Communist Poland.
Compiled by Robert Szmigielski