We’re so proud of what our Talking Together project has achieved

Calley Clay Calley Clay

After six years, TimeBank’s Talking Together project has sadly come to an end. However, we’re incredibly proud of all that the project has achieved.

In the last year alone, almost 1,800 learners have completed our Talking Together course across London, Birmingham, Coventry and Leicester.

Our learners start the courses at a beginner level of English, with many finding everyday tasks such as making appointments, talking to teachers at their children’s schools and accessing public services really difficult. The aim of our course has been to give them the language skills and confidence to empower our learners to complete these tasks independently.

The best (and most rewarding) example of progression was one learner who said she had never attended a single parents’ evening (her children have been attending school for 11 years). She said she didn’t have the confidence to attend, and that her husband always attended as his English was better than hers. After we did a session on parents’ evenings which included some role play, the learner told me she was planning to attend the next parents’ evening for one of her children.

We trained 160 volunteers over the last year to teach almost 200 courses. Our volunteers showed dedication and commitment to their classes, often going the extra mile to create extra resources to support their class. We’re always so grateful for their hard work and support!

As many charities are, we’re now evaluating what we can offer to our volunteers and community partners during the lockdown. Many of our volunteers are keen to continue supporting the Talking Together learners so we are trialling Whatsapp groups moderated by volunteers.

In addition to this, we’re looking at other ways that our volunteers can use their skills to support the community organisations that hosted our Talking Together classes, such as helping them with social media or offering assistance with funding bids.

Finally, we’re working with partners to help them disseminate information about COVID-19 to their beneficiaries, for example by sharing translated copies of NHS guidance.

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