English classes available in Braintree for Ukrainian refugees

Free English language classes have been made available for Ukrainian refugees in the Braintree district to provide additional learning and skills support.

The informal classes are run by a tutor at Braintree Community Centre and take place every week (since 20 June), with Ukrainian speaking volunteers supporting guests to understand everyday English language. This includes what to say when doing daily activities such as shopping or travelling on a bus.

Braintree District Council has part-funded these classes to enable them to continue up until 22 August 2022.

Classes run every Monday at 1pm at Braintree Community Centre. People can register to attend by emailing info@braintreecommunitycentre.org.uk or calling 01376 323280.

Councillor Frankie Ricci, Cabinet Member for Communities at Braintree District Council, said: “We are pleased we have been able to help fund these classes for Ukrainian guests and provide them with extra support to boost their English language skills as they start settling into their new communities. We will continue to work alongside our partner agencies to ensure those who arrive into the district have all the support they need.” 

Brenda Baker from Braintree Community Centre, said: “Our desire to help Ukrainians newly arrived in our community means that using our staff and building, supported by a group of volunteers, has given a great result. The need to communicate is very basic and Braintree Community Centre Management Committee was pleased to be able to provide immediate assistance to many newly arrived Ukrainians.

“Our building and the support of volunteers meant that we were able to start providing an early opportunity not only start learning English but also a chance to get together and exchange news. Now partially funded by Braintree District Council, the Monday sessions will continue until more formal learning opportunities are available. If an informal social group wants to continue, we will carry on supporting people who have faced having to leave a war-torn country.”   

Braintree District Council is continuing to work with partner agencies, including Essex County Council, to provide support for both the immediate and longer term needs of Ukrainian arrivals.

For more information about how residents can help and guidance for sponsors and guests, they can visit www.braintree.gov.uk/ukraine.

Published: 26th July 2022