SAVTE aims to reduce the isolation of the most excluded members of our communities by providing opportunities to learn English and encourage learners’ participation in local activities, thus break down barriers between communities.
Learners are usually people who are isolated and unable to access mainstream education provision and other services outside the home. This may be because they are caring for young children or older relatives, they are physically disabled or have general bad health including mental health, or they lack the confidence or have no experience of formal education.
Referrals come from across the city made by professionals such as Health visitors, Social workers, Housing officers, GP’s and school teachers. Volunteers are trained to teach language skills for everyday life through one to one teaching using the ESOL National Curriculum. We emphasize quality and progression. The learner and volunteer will look at options for moving on, identifying and addressing barriers the learner may face.
Citywide recruitment of volunteers connects people across the city, building understanding and raising awareness. We also provide Community Conversation Groups, a stepping stone to advancing the learner’s language skills, and assisting with their integration into the local community. They provide an opportunity for those who have benefited from home tuition to move on to a class environment, to help them practice their English and to benefit from meeting and working with others in similar circumstances to their own.
The conversation groups are designed to engage learners with their community including accessing other services e.g. Sure Start, advice services and other local activities. This encourages interaction, increased confidence, and also forms the basis of a support network that can be extended beyond the classroom and into the community.