More than 2,000 people have learnt English thanks to volunteers on our Talking Together project

Over the last two and a half years an amazing 2,158 people have completed English classes taught by volunteers on our Talking Together project.

It’s given these learners the confidence to visit their doctors without taking a family member to translate. It’s taught them how to speak with emergency services in the event of an accident. It’s enabled them to talk to their children’s school, their neighbours, and the bus driver. And ultimately it’s helped them to become a stronger part of their community.

On a personal level, working as Project Co-ordinator, I have been inspired and moved by both our learners and volunteers. At the final class of one of our courses, I sat with a small group of Somali women who told me and the volunteer teacher what it’s really like to fast for Ramadan. They also shared harrowing stories of their experiences of war in Somalia. Some of these learners came to the class knowing only a handful of English words.  Though their stories were told in broken English, the fact they were able to tell them at all shows the wonderful progress they had made in just 12 two-hour long classes.

Our volunteers are equally inspirational. Most come to volunteer for the project having no teaching experience. They are often visibly nervous, even to the point of shaking, ahead of their first class. But when I visit later classes, I see them standing confidently at the front, sharing jokes with their learners. Many of our volunteers have enjoyed the experience so much that they have continued teaching, either in the UK or abroad, after their classes have finished. Some have even gone on to gain qualifications in teaching and turn their new found passion into a career.  

We're now excited to be starting the next phase of Talking Together in London, Birmingham and Leicester, and we're looking for more volunteers to teach English. After attending our three day training session, you will be teaching two 2-hour long classes each week to a group of up to 10 adults, using our specially designed curriculum. All our learners speak very limited English (if they speak any at all!) and most are Muslim women, predominantly from Somali, Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds.

If you would like to apply or find out more about the role, visit the Talking Together page on our website where you can find our contact details and download the application form. We’d love to hear from you!