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307 Ukrainian refugees in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have accessed English lessons to help them resettle


307 Ukrainian refugees in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have accessed English lessons to help them resettle

CAMBRIDGESHIRE and Peterborough Combined Authority have been supporting Ukrainian refugees in the county by being the only Combined Authority in the country to fully fund English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL) provision. To date, 307 Ukrainian refugees have been supported through ESOL in the region. 

ESOL is a language course that supports speakers of other languages to learn the basics of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in English. Studying ESOL can help individuals settle into life in the UK, looking for employment and improve communication with doctors, teachers, and other people that students may meet through their daily routine.  

The Combined Authority have awarded c£1.2m to education providers to deliver ESOL in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough for the 2021/22 academic year.  

Courses are offered to students in a variety of ways so that they can pick a learning method which suits them, and their lifestyle best. This could be from full-time to part-time study, online to evening classes or even summer programmes.  

In addition to this, ESOL providers have also supported learners with transportation, childcare, counselling, and mental health support. This provision can be essential to helping refugees resettle in the region.  

Today (August 24th), the people of Ukraine mark their Independence Day – exactly six months since Russia’s invasion, and 31 years since declaring independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. 

Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, said: “We are proud to be the only Combined Authority in the country that fully funds ESOL provision. Being able to speak the native language in any country has an enormous impact on quality of life. 

“Refugees have already been through so much; it is imperative that we support them to resettle. That includes giving them the tools they need to access employment, understand and interact with the services they need, join clubs, and make friends. We can do that by offering ESOL to students.” 

Cambridge Regional College (CRC) are one of seven ESOL providers in the region.  

Michelle Dowse, Deputy Principal at Cambridge Regional College, said: “Since April of this year, CRC has been welcoming Ukrainian students on to our ESOL programmes with numbers growing month to month. With Combined Authority funding, CRC has enrolled fifty Ukrainian students to date. Over 200 people from the Ukraine have been welcomed for initial assessments and guidance over the summer period, and we are thrilled that they will be starting their courses with us in September. Ukrainian students have embraced the learning and seen rapid improvement of their English skills.  We are very proud to support these students providing them with new opportunities.” 

Ukrainian students have been joining others from across the world in ESOL classes within the county. 

Adult Education providers in the county which provide ESOL courses are: 

Anyone wishing to access ESOL provision in the county should visit the website of one of the providers listed above.