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20 July, 2021
News Story

ESOL Classes are back up and running

We’re pleased to say that our weekly English for Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) classes have returned at Your Place. This is done in partnership with MTC Learning who come in twice a week to run entry level English language and literacy sessions for our residents.

For some of our residents, English is not their first language. Having a good grasp of English is therefore vital in helping residents to prepare for moving on from our service. It makes it possible for residents to secure new jobs that may have been closed off to them previously due to language barriers, and will help them to make build their support networks outside of Your Place. We want to ensure residents have the skills they need so that they can live independently in their own home and build up a support network around them.

Right now, we have eight residents who regularly attend the sessions. Yahya is one of them, and said,

“I am originally from Darfur. I am came to the UK two years ago but I had to move out of my home as I couldn’t afford my rent payments. I ended up rough sleeping in Stratford for 45 days straight throughout the winter. I was so relieved to get referred to here, and I am now looking to move into a house share and to work in any job available.

These classes are helping me a lot. I go twice a week. I feel my English is getting slowly better every session – little by little. When talking to people around here I feel a lot more confident. I know this is going to help me make more friends and get a job when I move out.”

Naomi Mullings, Community Partnership Manager at Your Place, said, “The ESOL classes are essential for many of our residents who have English as their second language. I have seen an improvement in confidence within the group of residents and an increase in engagement in other activities and events that we put on here for them. It’s really great to see their progression, and we will continue to listen to residents around what services and support they need, so that we can best respond and support them on their journeys to independent living.”

Shahid Mahmood, Community Builder and Information Facilitator, said, “MTC Learning has been working in partnership with Caritas Anchor House for over five years and together we have provided the environment, created the conditions and opportunities for the seldom heard communities to develop the relationships and have the experiences that will give them a sense of belonging and community.

Raising the English language abilities of those at Your Place, as well as the wider community, especially those from minority communities has assisted their wider communication and participation. English language competency empowers residents to live their lives independently and release them from total dependency. 

In the future will see this initiative develop to include more mental health, wellbeing and individually tailored support. We will see many initiatives that will enhance community cohesion.”

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