Learn English at Home Newsletter - September 2015
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 LEARN ENGLISH AT HOME                
Through language we empower people to take an active role in the community.  
Patron: Dame Jacqueline Wilson DBE
Registered Charity Number:1153425                                 
Tel: 020 8255 6144
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Dear <<First Name>>

I hope you have had an energising summer. With our classes not running over the holidays, we've been busy in different ways in the LEAH office. We're very proud to have been selected as a finalist in the Kingston Business Excellence Awards, in the charity category. We've also been preparing for the first ever awayday of the LEAH Board of Trustees, where we'll be exploring how to develop the support we offer over the next three years. We shall certainly start the September back-to-school period with renewed focus! 

With best wishes

Kate Brown, LEAH Director

LEAH welcomes 3 new trustees 

Back row from left: Kim Bailey, Helen Henn, Francesca Gandolfo, Amira Medjodovic, Chris Penson, Karen Steinnes
Front row from left: Isabelle McGrath, Freda Lambert

Our three new trustees bring a range of additional skills to the LEAH Trustee Board. Francesca Gandolfo has a background in corporate strategy, having worked as a senior executive in organisations including Citigroup and Barclays. Karen Steinnes brings communications expertise, having been an Assistant Director and head of communications at the housing association Peabody. Chris Penson currently works for an organisation which places skilled volunteers on charity boards. Her varied experience also includes charity HR and teaching English in South America.

New community class timetable 

An exciting new phase is upon us at LEAH with the introduction of some new community classes in both Richmond and Kingston boroughs.
In Kingston we are starting a functional literacy class which will meet weekly and focus on reading and writing skills for people with low levels of literacy. 
For the first time in LEAH’s history we will be starting weekly classes in two primary schools. Communicating with School is a parents’ English club where parents can improve their communication with the school and gain a better understanding of UK education.
In Richmond we are starting our first ever project in Ham called Ham Jam. This will be a participant-led group with weekly walks and fortnightly craft activities whereby English speaking residents can support others to learn English while swapping skills and ideas to create a fun inclusive club.
ESOL for Life classes to clients continue as part of our volunteer training course teaching practice.
Go to http://www.leah.org.uk/noticeboard/one-entry?entry_id=21016502 to see our Autumn timetable.

EIF project successsfully completed

June was something of a landmark at LEAH as we finished delivering the ESOL provision of the 'Empower and Inspire Project', commissioned by the Royal Borough of Kingston (RBK). RBK were successful in securing European Integration Funding (EIF) in October 2013. The 21 month project enabled LEAH to deliver tutor training to 75 volunteers and involved English classes with a heritage theme for 94 newly arrived female migrants, as teaching practice for the training volunteers. We are really grateful to the ECET team at RBK and in particular Nighat Taimuri for this opportunity and for all their guidance and support.

The project has enabled the students to integrate into local society and learn about Kingston’s diverse heritage. When surveyed, 95% of the students reported feeling more confident with their English with quotes including, ‘I can communicate with people, improve myself’ and ‘thank you for giving a good chance to study with my young boy’. Volunteer tutor feedback comments following the training course included ‘the course was professionally designed’, ‘the course gave me all the foundation I needed’, and ‘the course far exceeded my expectations!’. 91% of volunteers said they felt confident to teach after the course.

500 booklets were also produced describing some of the students' reflections on life in Kingston. The booklet ‘About Me’ is available for you to read here.
Whilst this particular project has finished the need for volunteer tutors continues. Thanks to funding from the The Big Lottery we will be running training courses starting from 24 September. If you know of anyone who is interested in volunteering for LEAH please ask them to contact info@leah.org.uk

LEAH wins NIACE award

In June we were delighted to receive the NIACE Adult Learners' Week 2015 South-East Project Award. Selected from over 300 applicants this award recognises the remarkable achievement LEAH volunteers have made in helping ethnic minority adults to improve their English language skills and the transforming effect this has on their clients' lives. Thank you and well done to all our clients, volunteers, trustees and staff for their brilliant work.

Practical ideas for happier living

On 12 October, in conjunction with World Mental Health week Maria Dockrill from Go Volunteering and Zoe Hourigan from LEAH are holding this short course, designed to help you get more out of life and cope better when things go wrong. All welcome. For more details see http://www.leah.org.uk/noticeboard/one-entry?entry_id=21281950
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Our mailing address is: info@leah.org.uk

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