Strengthening Communities Volunteering In Lancashire

A successful case study

MP has fled from Albania for asylum. She is a single parent with 2 young children and suffers from depression, but this is under control with medication. She is bored at home and is socially isolated. She has been fighting for residency for 5 years and having now been granted permanent residency is looking to volunteer. She would like to gain office experience or work with children and learn new skills to enable her to move into employment. She has lots of life skills and experience of immigration.

BPRCVS spoke to MP about possibly helping out at our Reception. We are opening an office in Nelson town centre in January and thought if she could get a bit of experience first she could then move into the Nelson Office when it opened, which MP was happy to do. The BPRCVS Centre Manager agreed she could start on Thursday 1st November 2018. MP was also interested in volunteering with children so suggested she try her local school where her children go first as it would be more accessible to her. MP called in and asked about opportunities and put her name down.

MP has done ESOL Entry Level 1 at Nelson and Colne College. She finished in July, but hadn’t gone back for Level 2 in September because she said she was getting bored with it. MP's advisor spoke in length with MP to try and encourage her to go back to college to do her ESOL Level 2 explaining that it would give her better qualifications which will be equivalent of a grade C GCSE. This will help her move forward in the future either into further education or employment. She agreed and was happy for BPRCVS to make enquiries for her. MP's tutor agreed that this was the right step for her. They said they would send her a letter inviting her in.  It would also be good socially for her to be mixing with other people.

MP started volunteering at Park Primary School on 15th October 2018. She is helping the children with their reading and helping in the school yard. 

The college wrote to her and invited her in on 30th October 2018 to look at enrolling. BPRCVS picked her up and took her to the college to speak to her tutor again who was very welcoming and encouraging. She also told her that some of her friends from the previous year had signed up. MP was very happy and enrolled on ESOL Entry Level 2. She then stayed for the class. This is very good for her wellbeing and mental health as she is being kept busy and is also socialising with other people in a similar situation. By volunteering at the school it is helping her English too.

Together we decided that as MP was volunteering in her children’s school and was also going to be attending college for ESOL classes that it would be better to put the reception volunteering on hold for the time being.

MP said, “Janette has encouraged me to apply for ESOL Entry Level 2 at college. I probably wouldn’t have done it without her support and encouragement. Thank you, you have been a good help."