TimeBank seeks volunteers to teach English in London

Julia Shipston Julia Shipston

News Release: 19 May 2015

National volunteering charity TimeBank is recruiting volunteers to give informal language lessons to people living in London who speak little or no English. Many are women from Bangladeshi, Somali and Pakistani communities and without language skills, they can feel isolated and cut off from society.

Following the success of its Talking Together project in Birmingham and Leicester, TimeBank has launched new language programmes in eight London boroughs: Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Greenwich, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lewisham, Southwark and Wandsworth. 

The 2011 census figures showed that across England 1.7% of the population have either no, or poor spoken English, rising to 9% in some London boroughs.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of TimeBank says: “Not speaking the language can lead to isolation and make it hard for people to take a full part in British life. Our Talking Together project shows the vital role that volunteers can play in building strong, united communities.” 

TimeBank would like to hear from volunteers who can spare around two hours twice a week for six weeks to provide informal language training. The classes are practical and locally based, covering basic skills such as taking public transport or going to the doctor. No special skills are needed – just time, patience, good English skills and an understanding of the issues these learners may be facing. TimeBank offers full training and support.

The charity will work with local organisations and community groups to deliver the programme, and would like to hear from any which might like to get involved.

If you’d like to know more, take a look at http://timebank.org.uk/talking-together

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