Katie Bennett, one of the volunteers on our Talking Together project, tells us how it is changing women's lives - including her own.
Having been a stay at home mum for two years, I had lost a lot of confidence and developed serious baby brain! Having completed a CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) qualification, I had found it hard to find any decent teaching work to put what I had learned into practice.
Then I found the Talking Together project at TimeBank. After an informal and friendly interview, I completed the training which was interesting, informative and fun!! As a trainer you are given basic lesson plans which you can adapt as you get to know your learners' interests – the more confident I became, the more I was able to put my imagination into the lessons. For instance, setting up shop with real food items and using skeletons to teach body parts.
The women I taught at the Women’s Bangladesh Centre were of different ages and had different home situations, but all lacked confidence when it came to speaking English. Some ladies were extremely shy but as time went on, I watched them all grow in confidence and become friends – this was incredibly rewarding to see and I was sad to say goodbye to them at the end of the 12 weeks, but very proud.
To boost the students’ morale I contacted Councillor Nawaz Ali who agreed to present certificates to the students at the end of their course. I believe this helped give the students the confidence they deserved. The feedback from the students included ‘..the lessons gave me peace,’ and ‘I can finally tell the doctor what’s wrong with me.’
Hearing this has confirmed to me what a worthwhile project Talking Together is and why I will continue to teach lessons until they tell me to stop! Personally, the experience has given me confidence and new skills and I now have several job interviews lined up. My advice if you’re interested… Go for it!
If you're interested in volunteering on our Talking Together project in Birmingham and Leicester, take a look here and call us on 0121 236 2531 if you'd like to know more.