Elena (not her real name) came to the UK in 2010, to work in a care home, which sponsored her visa. She acquired an NVQ level 3 in health and social care.
When the time came for her employer to apply for her visa extension, the UK government had changed the rules for migrant care workers and she lost both her right to stay and her job.
However, one of the elderly people she had been taking care of, asked her to look after him once he returned to his own home, even though he knew she no longer had a visa. She looked after this man for several years until he died. Now Elena is looking after his wife who is 82 years old, for a few hours a week, cleaning her house, helping her with groceries, meals and some general housework.
Elena is also looking after another elderly person, who is 86 years old and lives on her own.
Elena herself sleeps on a sofa, in a small two bedroom flat with four other Filipinos. During the CV-19 crisis she fears for their health because they are crammed together in the flat.
She does not want to go to the elderly people she care for because they are vulnerable to the virus. This means she has lost all her income.
Elena has two children in the Philip- pines who she has not seen for ten years. They live with her mother who is diabetic and has to receive regular dialysis treatment. She is constantly anxious for their safety, in their poor living conditions in the Philippines. At the present time Elena can no longer send the money home they desperately need.