Wednesday, 22 August 2012

New and improved English Courses

It's been an exciting journey for Upbeat Communities regarding ESOL provision.

Over the first couple of years we were providing English classes for free to those who had just arrived in Derby and were unable to pay for their lessons. It was great to see people becoming more confident in using the English language and beginning to integrate in the community by forming friendships with each other as well as the teachers and volunteers. 

As we were awarded funding in the beginning of this year to deliver English classes we were able to write our own curriculum. The 6-week course is designed for those who have just arrived in England so besides teaching the basic English we wanted them to get to know Derby and learn about topics such as Schools and Doctors, Shopping, Banks and Money, Housing, Bills and Contracts, Waste etc. Our aim is to do it in a fun and visual way, for instance teaching about waste and the vocabulary around that we bring in the bins and let them sort out the waste.

At the end of July we completed the first two courses and the feedback was encouraging. People found the curriculum very interesting, they enjoyed learning about British culture and they especially liked watching clips of Mr Bean! We are currently in the middle of our third course and it's going really well. In the beginning of September we are starting our 4th and 5th courses and they are already fully booked!

It's rewarding to see the learners getting sad when the course has ended or when they present the teachers some flowers to thank them for all they had done for them. Over the time we have had some great volunteers assisting the teachers and some of them have been faithfully helping for a couple of years. Upbeat Communities couldn't exist without the help of volunteers, so if you would like to get involved with the ESOL classes and meet some amazing people, please contact us!

Heili T├Ánissaar

ESOL Co-ordinator

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

It’s been an exciting season for Upbeat Communities!

Along with three other organisations we were awarded funding to help New Communities settle in and begin to integrate into life in Derby. The partnership is called NC Fusion and the funding has enabled us to employ 4 part time staff including project co-ordinators and a specialist family support worker.

This new partnership has given us an outreach base in Normanton in addition to our main office base with CCD in Pride Park. It’s great to be working together with others to achieve our aims. The base will incorporate a charity shop, office base and support services for New Communities.

We have provided placements for a number of University of Derby Students this year on our SEW 2 Work project and with Refugee Week.

We had fun at Refugee Week in June, our Beyond Borders festival in the Market showcased music, dance and culture from many of Derby's new communities. The week also launched our new book “Our food, Shared Food” filled with recipes and reflections from Derby’s new communities (see previous post).

Keep your eyes on the Blog, website and our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with all of Upbeat Communities activities. Your support and interest is very much appreciated.

Thanks for reading our Update!

Karina Martin
Project Director