Accessing ESOL classes is often a really important part of integration; building skills and feeling part of a community. Access to classes in England is not possible in the first 6 months after arrival and funding cuts have affected ESOL classes and their availability in recent times. Often the cost of one class is equivalent to the asylum support allowance for food, toiletries, shoes and clothes ( just over £5), making difficult choices between learning or eating. There are many informal free ESOL classes across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, trying to bridge this gap, enabling people to integrate and connecting people with people – and in so doing breaking down barriers and prejudices and building confidence and relationships.
City of Sanctuary volunteers are delivering ESOL classes, one to one support and conversation clubs in different cities and towns. One example of a conversation club is the FAN model ( Friends and Neighbours).
We plan to use this stream page to share resources, ideas and best practice amongst volunteers working with those seeking asylum. In Coventry, several CoS volunteer led classes run each week in the Refugee and Migrant Centre. In Leicester, City of Sanctuary ESOL volunteers teach in swish university premises with professional support from Leicester University. In Sheffield, conversation groups run each week at their drop-in. What is happening in your city?
See also Why ESOL Matters – a film to help promote the Let Refugees Learn campaign and to use in awareness sessions.
Please contact [email protected] with information about your city and with your favourite websites, resources or teaching ideas to share across the network. We really want to know about your experiences.
Latest ESOL Posts from across the City of Sanctuary Network
Rethinking refugees: assets and not liabilities
By Josh Evans, Bearwood Action for Refugees
Why ESOL Matters
At the recent ESOL Forum in Birmingham, we had the privilege of showing a video made by Hogar Salim on…
The Basics of Voluntary ESOL
By Steph Neville, St Chad’s Sanctuary, Birmingham
Over 60 ESOL volunteers gathered in Birmingham
Over 60 ESOL volunteers gathered in Birmingham for a forum event to explore ways of increasing voluntary ESOL provision across the…
What's going on in Preston?
Preston Welcomes Ten Syrian Families to PrestonPosted by: Preston
Volunteering with Loughborough Town of Sanctuary
There are many ways in which you could help, from the ‘Meet and Greet’ at the reporting centre, fundraising to pay for the food and drink or making a regular donation. If you would like to join our group of volunteers, please contact us [email protected]Posted by: Loughborough
ESOL forum for those interested in working with refugees
Have you been thinking about how to support refugees in your city?
Sanctuary in the Senedd 2016.
This event brought together around 150 people including Assembly Members to listen to powerful refugee testimony on several devolved issues including housing,…Posted by: Swansea
Sanctuary in Parliament - the vision we dared to dream - Craig Barnett
It was extraordinary to be at the Sanctuary in Parliament event this week, eleven years after Inderjit Bhogal and I…Posted by: City of Sanctuary Blog
Sanctuary on Sea goes to Parliament to stand up for the right to asylum
Caroline Lucas meeting Sanctuary on Sea groupPosted by: Brighton and Hove