“English for Women” in Chelmsford Diocese – notes from Susannah Owen
The weather. A subject that is always on our topic list at English for Women as we talk about the wonderful country in which we live and the everyday customs our learners will encounter.
The Autumn term got off to a great start this September with many new learners joining us including one family that had only been in the country for a week! The warm welcome and community atmosphere was evident from the moment learners arrived and the sessions have continued with their usual ‘vibrant hum’ as numbers have continued to increase.
Recently, the English for Women team have delivered talks to a number of groups and Mothers’ Union branches and explained how a simple idea, and a great deal of support and dedication, can have such a huge impact on the lives of those in our communities. Muloa “Mothers’ Union Listening, Observing, Acting” could not be more evident than in the work Mothers’ Union branches are doing across the diocese to help fundraise and spread the word about English for Women
The impact we have here in Chelmsford and the surrounding areas was most noticeable at our end of term picnic. Teaching resources were put to one side as all project days came together to celebrate a fantastic year of learning, and a successful year of fundraising which saw grants from the Essex Community Foundation and the Church Welfare Association being received to secure our future for another year.
At the picnic, many learners and volunteers brought gifts of food and so the tables were laden with dishes from all around the world. Cakes, strawberries and scones sat alongside noodles, rice dishes, spicy snacks and homemade breads; no one went hungry! We were delighted that representatives from the Mothers’ Union, the Church Welfare Association and Chelmsford Cathedral were also able to join us to accept our thanks for the support that has been so generously given, and to share in the success that all are part of. One of our guests said “If ever there was visible evidence of the positive impact of the project, today was it, everyone came together to celebrate and share in the English for Women community.
Whilst we are called ‘English’ for Women, and our language teaching is our most visible endeavour, English for Women aims to reduce isolation, increase integration and equip women with the skills they need to participate in everyday life. This term we have already seen the positive effect that being able to attend English for Women can have and, with your continued support, many more women within our communities will be less isolated and able to see a brighter future for themselves and their families.
If you would like to visit English for Women, or volunteer or donate, please do contact me.
More information about the impact off the Mothers' Union literacy and numeracy programme on the main Mothers'Union website