Hundreds of refugees in South London to receive free language classes to improve quality of life

Hundreds of refugees in south London will receive free English language classes to help them integrate into the community.

City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable arm, awarded charity Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (CARAS) £84,520 in funding to run the scheme.

The grant means that over the next three years, CARAS, based in Wandsworth, will provide English language (ESOL) classes to over 200 people whose first language is not English.

The classes will be available to adults in Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth who cannot access college courses for a number of reasons, including social isolation, childcare needs and transport. CARAS will provide a crèche service alongside the weekly classes.

The programme will help refugees to overcome language barriers that prevent access to rights, entitlements, opportunities and a good quality of life.

Alison Gowman, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, commented:

“This charity is highly regarded in the community for the high-quality services it provides with its team of 100 volunteers.

“CARAS ensures people get the right support for their own situation, no matter how complex.

“ESOL classes for refugees are a big step towards integrating in the community and moving forward with their lives in the UK.”

Eleanor Brown, CARAS Managing Director, added: “Many refugees and asylum seekers arrive in the UK without the English they need to become independent, and cannot access mainstream provision that meets their needs.

“We are excited to be working with the City Bridge Trust to provide a range of ESOL classes that ensure that the newest members of our community are supported on a path to autonomy, confidence, friendship and belonging.”

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