The Migrant English Project

About MEP

The Migrant English Project:

  • Provides free and informal English lessons for refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants.
  • Provides a welcoming, friendly and safe space where people can meet others and receive support
  • Provides support, basic advice, referrals and signposting when needed
  • Provides free lunch & refreshments during the project

The Migrant English Project helps people whose first language is not English and who may feel isolated.

We don’t always have enough room or teachers to give lessons to everyone who comes in. If we run out of room or teachers, we will always prioritise people who need free English lessons.

The project helps people gain the necessary skills and confidence in written and spoken English and it is also a meeting point for migrants.

The project is about supporting people in all areas of their lives. It is run entirely by volunteers and is a completely independent initiative.

Participation and involvement by all members is strongly encouraged, students and volunteers alike – the project belongs to you!

Giving a donation

MEP running costs are low but we do need financial contributions to pay for rent, lunch, tea and coffee and travel costs. If you would like to donate please see our Localgiving page. Any contribution however small is incredibly useful and very much appreciated by everyone at MEP.

Brexit Guide for EEA nationals updated

JCWI’s guide for EEA+ Nationals & Family Members has been updated with new information about the ongoing negotiations, and updated resources for people looking to secure their status in the UK. Read the guide here.

PingLish

Brighton Table Tennis Club (BTTC) have employed an experienced ESOL teacher to teach PingLish (English through Table Tennis) to migrants and refugees. Sessions are free, fun and particularly for people that have never played Table Tennis before. Weekly 1:1 and small group sessions that are 90 minutes long are available Tuesday & Thursday from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. To get booked in for a trial session please email tim@brightontabletennisclub.com or call Tim on 07985 141788. For the address and more information about Brighton Table Tennis Club click here.

Sewing Group

We are now running a weekly sewing group. This is a chance for migrant women to come and learn some basic sewing skills and make their own clothes in a fun, friendly and supportive environment. Read more here.

New online tool to help advisors working with migrant families

The NRPF network has produced a new website to help find out what support options might be available to destitute migrant families. It’s designed to be used by LA staff, voluntary sector advisors and members of the public. The web tool can be accessed here.

Advice on ‘What to do if you’re worried about racism’

The Equality and Human Rights Commission published a factsheet in July 2016 What to do if you’re worried about racism: EU referendum factsheet.

Brighton & Hove Fairness Commission

MEP contributed to the Brighton Fairness Commission which was set up to find out how to make Brighton & Hove a fairer and more equal place to live and work. The Fairness Commission released their report on 27 June 2016.

EEA Administrative Removal

The Migrants Rights Network have published a factsheet describing the operational process for the administrative removal of a European Economic Area (EEA) national by Immigration Compliance and Enforcement teams. It has been written for voluntary-sector agencies, local authorities and others working with EEA nationals facing homelessness. Download the factsheet here.

FareShare Sussex

MEP is pleased to be a part of FareShare Sussex

Fareshare master as CS2

TUC guide to working in the UK

Working in the UK is a TUC online guide to your rights at work in the UK.

Country of Origin (COI) Portal

The European Asylum Support Office’s public Country of Origin (COI) Portal allows users to search for country of origin information from different sources, in different languages and to be regularly informed of COI publications or events. Additional features (e.g. country or topic specific alerts, country overview pages, etc.)

Awards For All projects

Thanks to funding from Awards For All, MEP is running two projects:

MEP recipe book

During 2014/2015 people participating to MEP celebrated the cultural diversity of food across the city by cooking vegan dishes from around the world. Every month a vegan dish from a different country was prepared and served at lunch time to everyone at MEP.

The project involved people from different cultural background. Every recipe was created by a small group of people coming from the same culture or sometimes by a creative experiment of different cultures meeting in the kitchen.

Migrant English Project – Recipes from Around the World

MEP contribution to Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group (GDWG) quilt

Whole_GDWG_quilt (2)

The idea for the quilt came about in a GDWG volunteers local meeting. The idea was for volunteers to come together on a regular basis to sew and share stories of visiting. This was seen as a positive way for visitors to share their experiences and celebrate the stories of survival and overcoming hardship that inspire them. Subsequent research showed that political sewing has a vibrant history, including sewing to express human rights themes and women’s protest art in Pinochet’s Chile.

Visitors were joined by detainees in the art class in Tinsley House and ex-detainees from Tinsley House and Brook House who came to a workshop in Crawley. A competition was held in Tinsley House to encourage participation and GDWG volunteers were welcomed to join the art classes in the centre and to help detainees sew squares on the theme of ‘journeys’.

Pound Hill Junior School formed an afterschool sewing club for children to work on squares for the project. Many of the children chose to sew hands representing ‘the hands of friendship’ being shown to refugees.

Local organisations sewed their logos onto the quilt to show their support for the work of GDWG and Refugee Week, and the positive contributions that refugees make to our lives in the UK today.

Through this project, we hoped to tell detainee and visitor stories of journey and welcome as a positive focus of our wider work. This was seen as important by detainees, who had told GDWG that they wanted to share their stories, and by visitors, who had said in their local meetings that they wished to share their experiences and those of detainees they had met. We also wanted to use the quilt to reach out to the local community with a participatory art project inspired by the work of GDWG volunteers visiting detainees in Brook House and Tinsley House.

Article in Migrant Voice

Language, advice, support, friendship and belonging – the Migrant English Project (article by Emilio Casalicchio in Migrant Voice, May 2014)

MEP outings

We also organize days out for our students and volunteers  to get to know places around Brighton & Hove and further afield to London.

 Preston Park, summer 2013

Games in Preston Park, summer 2013

 

Football in Preston Park, Summer 2014

Football in Preston Park, Summer 2014

 

The Sail Boat Project

The Sail Boat Project has been working with students and volunteer teachers from the Migrant English Project to take people out on short sailing trips in Chichester harbour.

 Outings in Brighton and London in recent years:

 


refugee_radio

Refugee Radio – http://www.refugeeradio.org.uk/index.html – ‘Migrant English Project actively work with and support Refugee Radio’ Read more…