Karen has worked in education for 20 years in developing countries such as Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. On returning to Hull after working with various organisations and people who were now living in the UK, including asylum seekers and refugees, Karen recognised the need to help these communities and the Welcome to English was born.
While the main aim of Welcome to English is to teach newcomers in Hull how to speak English, the support they provide is so much more than this. As well as teaching people English, they also teach them so much about life in the UK in general, helping them to adapt and become part of the local community.
Around one-third of the people they help are unable to read and write and have no literacy skills in their native language. Many have never had the opportunity to go to school. And so, finding themselves in the UK and learning the language is a daunting prospect.
Karen and her team of volunteers teach, befriend and use several different techniques to help people adapt to life in the UK and connect with other people.
They partner with many organisations in Hull to provide as much support as possible to help the service users learn about Hull, provide opportunities to practise English, meet other people, and help them get into work.
Funds from the Matthew Good Foundation will go towards resources and activities to enhance learning and wellbeing.