A POLISH woman plunged to her death from an outside window ledge on Saturday (March 5) in a tragic accident.
Agnieszka Zielonka, 31, of Cornwallis Gardens, broke her neck following the fall and was found by a neighbour lying in the garden, who called the police and paramedics.
Miss Zielonka was cleaning her windows in the afternoon when the freak accident happened.
This week her friends paid tribute to her, saying she had a ‘heart of gold’.
Joanna Hayward, of Wartling Close, St Leonards, knew her for six years.
She said: “Agnieszka was very much part of our family. She was a bubbly and outgoing person, had a heart of gold and would do anything for her friends.
“Everyone still can’t believe she is gone.”
Mrs Hayward was Miss Zielonka’s manager at Britannia Care Home in Bexhill and then at Park Beck in Upper Maze Hill, St Leonards.
She bought her friend and colleague a dog for her birthday in 2008 which Miss Zielonka, originally from Lodz in Poland, named Jamal in honour of the main character from the movie Slumdog Millionaire.
Patrycja Bartyzel, who knew Miss Zielonka for two years after meeting her at Park Beck, said: “She was very helpful to me when I started working there and everything was new to me. Agnieszka never refused to help others.
“She was a very ambitious person. In Poland, she finished her studies at the Institute for Family Studies in Warsaw, and when she moved to England six years ago, continued her postgraduate studies in psychology at the Polish University in Exile in London. I admired her for it as she never told herself to stop and consistently set herself ever more ambitious goals.
“I will remember Agnieszka as a smiling, young person who was full of life. I will never forget our long talks over tea and cookies. She was an excellent listener, discreet and tactful and I could always count on her.”
Miss Zielonka was one of the founder members of the Polish Association in Hastings and its vice-chairman.
She was also involved in the Polish Roman Catholic Mission in town, based at St Mary Star-of-the-Sea Church in the Old Town.
Since the end of 2009 Miss Zielonka worked at Bears House Nursery in Holmsdale Gardens.
More than 100 people attended a Polish Mass at St Mary-Star-of-the-Sea Church on Sunday.
Another service will be held on Sunday, April 3 at St Thomas Church in Magdalen Road, St Leonards, in English.
Aleksandra Nona, from the Polish Association, said: “Our hearts go our to Agnieszka’s partner, family and friends.
“She was a member of our community, our colleague and friend. We will remember her the way she always was, kind to everyone and with a smile on her face.”
A spokesman for Sussex Police said Miss Zielonka’s death was not being treated as suspicious and an inquest will be heard at a later date.