Creative English featured member: EASA

This week, we had the pleasure of speaking to Saira Neam, Manager of EASA, a community hub in Bradford. Based in the centre of town for the last 30 years, the organisation has its finger on the pulse of the community and its needs, specifically in relation to integration, employment, and languages.

Through its targeted outreach programmes, EASA is able to reach refugees, asylum seekers, the long-term unemployed, lone parents, and disadvantaged families—those who need its services the most. It provides programmes such as FaithAction’s own Creative English, as well as programmes focused on preparing children for school, employability and anti-extremism.

Saira told us that EASA’s aim is to “Inspire individuals and our community to reach their potential”. The baseline service is to provide information, advice, and guidance, and then extend to fill the gaps in provision in the community based on need. Saira says that her greatest achievement is “making a difference to the lives of the most disadvantaged individuals”.

Running Creative English has been a great success when it comes to meeting the needs of the people that visit the centre. Many in the area has issues regarding confidence with their spoken English, so our programme has lined up perfectly with EASA’s aim of helping people to “reach their potential”.

Some feedback that Saira received from the trainers confirmed this: there was a major difference in confidence. The learners said they were “no longer scared to give it a go”.

Some mums said that, having always sent their partners to parents’ evening in the past, they would now go as well. They prepared in Creative English sessions by practising asking questions and running through common scenarios. Teachers at the school commented that it was a really positive thing for the school, as the confidence and willingness to try that the parents were demonstrating was a great example for the children.

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