Creative English Featured Member: Sound Vault Studios
Sabrina is a volunteer with Sound Vault Studios, a charity in Birmingham, as a Creative English facilitator. She has also run classes in a mosque and a busy community centre, but mostly ran a class with a lovely group in a local residential care home.
Many of these women don’t have any contact with their families. Nobody comes to visit them, so when Sabrina stops in to see them, she is greeted with hugs and affection as if she were family. Sabrina says that it’s good that she can go to them, because a lot of them struggle with their mobility and it would be hard for them to go out to attend a class.
Teaching Creative English in a residential care home helps to highlight specific needs of the learners. Sabrina was shocked to realise that none of her class knew what to do in the event of a fire. She was able to go through the fire evacuation procedure at the home in a way that they could all understand. In the following Creative English session, they went over it again, as well as how to call 999 and access the emergency services. She was well aware that it could help save lives.
As well as obvious, practical benefits like this, Sabrina loves that the Creative English classes provide a fun atmosphere while producing clear improvements. At the start, some of the women in her class couldn’t even introduce themselves, yet by the end, they were conversing very confidently, with animated hand gestures. The classes were so popular with the learners that they didn’t want it to end. The women also enjoyed having three of the men from the home join them in their classes. One of these men is just months away from his hundredth birthday, and loves joining in with the classes very much. The staff at the home remark that he would never remember appointments and such, but that he’d always turn up for the Creative English class.