Burslem Elim Church is celebrating after receiving more than £4,000 in funding, allowing the organisation to provide further support to refugees and asylum seekers in Stoke.

Thanks to the Coalfields Community Investment Programme the Church will use the £4,009 to employ a Sessional Worker.  

Working 3 hours a week over the next 30 weeks, the Sessional Worker will provide English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) with tailored courses that will meet with the varying needs of asylum seekers, refugees and newly arrived migrants.

Providing basic English lessons, those who attend will have the opportunity to improve their language skills, which will give them more confidence and it is hoped will also make the integration into the local community a simpler process.  

This additional resource will also allow the community group to extend a weekly drop in session, delivering CV and covering letter workshops, interview preparation, and advice around courses and training provision that is available in the Stoke-On-Trent area.

Reverend Jim Lowe from Burslem Elim Church, comments: “Asylum seekers and refugees can often come from incredibly traumatic backgrounds and being able to offer a friendly face and a chance to mix with people who have had similar experiences to them can make a whole load of difference as they settle in to new surroundings.”

“The funding received from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust means we’re now able to reach out to more people and provide them with the skills and support they need to feel part of the local community.”

Lynn Utting, Development Manager (England) for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, comments: “English courses, CV and covering letter writing and help with education and employment can make a real difference to people when they are trying to settle into a new environment.”

“By working with the Burslem Jubilee Project though the Coalfields Community Investment Programme we’re able to make this difficult transition far easier for people and ensure they have the support in place which they desperately need but all too often fail to receive.”