Ivelaw King and his partner Patricia Pikulska, and their son Denzel King, 6.
Ivelaw King is from Marbaruma, a regional capital in the north western part of Guyana, near the Venezuelan border. The town is located on a narrow plateau close to the Aruka River that is surrounded by rainforest. Ivelaw came to the UK in 2001. “I had no family here and it was my first time in the UK,” he says, “I came over when I was in a previous relationship."
He met his current partner Patricia Pikulska from Poland, near his workplace. “He used to work in the same building I used to live in,” she says. “I was a barber at the time,” says Ivelaw, “I still am – but when I met Patricia I had a shop just around the corner from where she was living.” They have been together for seven years.
“My mum was already here,” explains Patricia, “that’s why I came in 2007.” Patricia currently works as a personal trainer.
Neither Patricia nor Ivelaw have given much thought to the future: “We haven’t discussed our plans yet,” says Patricia, “we’re just going to see what happens.”
“Brexit concerns me a little bit,” she continues, “I haven’t personally noticed a change in attitudes, but I guess it’s going to get a lot harder for foreigners when it comes.”
“To be honest Brexit doesn’t worry me,” says Ivelaw, “we’ll just continue to do what we’re doing.”
There are Guyanese and Polish communities in London. “I do go to events and gatherings, but not regularly,” says Ivelaw. “I have a couple of Polish friends here, but I don’t go to Polish events,” says Patricia.
Patricia and Ivelaw have one son, Denzel King aged six. He has already started school and says his friends come from “all over”. He has not yet visited Guyana.
Each year Ivelaw tries to visit Guyana: “But I haven’t been back this year, yet,” he says. “All my family are there – my mum, brothers and sisters.”
“I see myself as both British and Guyanese,” he continues, “I’ve lived in the UK for most of my adult life and I’m mostly around British people, so at the moment I see myself leaning more towards British culture.”