Crucial to participation in Irish life, culture, work and education is being able to speak and understand English. Many of the residents in the East Wall centre speak fluent English, meanwhile others have identified learning or improving their English as an urgent priority.

To support the residents on this journey, we have developed a series of English language workshops, in partnership with local community organisations.

The Intercultural Language Service, led by Peter Sheekey, offered to help train and guide EWHFA volunteers in setting up informal first stop language supports. This model is based on small groups of learners working with volunteers. The focus is on social interaction, guided conversation and student-led subject matter. Members of our team recently took part in a celebratory shared meal of home cooked Afghani, Ukranian, Pakistani and Algerian cuisine.

Today, we have a team of 30 volunteers being trained up in teaching English language sessions to residents in the area. Amongst these 30 volunteers, are residents from the East Wall centre and a number of other nearby direct provision centres who bring a host of multi-lingual and translation abilities and skills to the project.