English language classes launch in Crompton
Older people living in the Crompton ward, for whom English is not their first language said they would like to improve their spoken fluency. They very much felt that this would help them get more involved in their wider community as well as improve their self confidence and independence. Although English speaking classes were already available at the time, they appeared to be providing only limited accessibility and benefit.
Working with local community members to identify the exact nature of the need, multiple partners were successfully approached to create and co-ordinate all the details for the new classes. Key milestones included:
- Identifying a local community café called All Souls Huddle Up – a new community space (and Community Interest Company) created from a disused church that was happy to house English speaking sessions at no cost.
- Recruiting volunteers who had multiple language skills and an interest in the local community via their contact with the community learning ambassadors course at Bolton college who help new learners take their first steps back to study.
- Engaging with the Talk English network who had previous experience in delivering similar sessions, and who could provide training and support to the volunteers running the classes.
- Involving the co-design officer for Bolton CVS to ensure that everybody was contributing to the design of the sessions to build a programme that has multiple benefits.
Running on Thursdays from 12:30pm to 14:30pm, the classes give local residents the chance to practice their English speaking skills, form new friendships and to build a stronger, more connected community.
The project has consolidated on existing assets to deliver a resource that directly meets a community need, but with no additional financial costs.