The London Borough of Redbridge is one of winners of the Government’s £6.5 million ESOL for Integration Fund. This funding will help residents get informal English language provision to help them integrate into life in England.
With nearly £250,000 of funding, our project, English for Every Day, will help 500 Redbridge residents with little or no English language skills to fulfil their potential and increase their positive participation in the wider Redbridge community. The new project will build on last year’s successful Ministry funded project. It will deliver high-quality language teaching using a mix of small groups and online courses whilst social distancing restrictions remain in place. The project will improve an individual’s connection and contribution to their local area and encourage social mixing with people outside their immediate social circles. Working with community partners, a network of 18 ESOL Virtual Hubs and Creative Clubs will recruit from priority wards across the borough, where there are a high number of adults who speak little or no English.
A team of experienced ESOL tutors will provide informal language learning. Volunteer ESOL Ambassadors, drawn from higher level adult learners, selected on the basis of their personal networks in the community, will be trained to support recruitment as well as class and club activities. Volunteers will be great role models, motivating and engaging learners. Creative Club Leaders will help learners to practise English outside the classroom, facilitate social mixing and raise participation in cultural events and civic activities.
The project will run from July 2020-March 2021 with courses beginning in September 2020.
Joni Cunningham, Principal of Redbridge Institute said ‘We are very excited to have won this funding which will enable us to continue to take English language teaching into the heart of our communities. Supporting people to take their first steps in learning English informally will break down barriers and raise ambitions to carry on learning, helping people make more of their lives. The Creative Clubs will be a great way to support social mixing through shared interests and activities.’
Cllr Jas Athwal, Leader of Redbridge Council said: “We want to make sure all local people are empowered to reach their full potential in Redbridge. Learning or improving language skills can open so many doors, both personally and professionally and our council want to do whatever we can to give people the opportunity to develop their skills.
If you or a family member are interested in improving English language skills, please apply for one of these ESOL classes. It’s free, high quality teaching right on your doorstep. It is never too late to learn.”