The Migrant English Project

About MEP

  • 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 is involved in helping 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.


MEP is pleased to be a part of FareShare Sussex

Fareshare master as CS2


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

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.)


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


Migrant English Project – Recipes from Around the World

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.

Click here to experience the creativity of many cultures which every Monday come together at MEP.


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 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 – – ‘Migrant English Project actively work with and support Refugee Radio’ Read more…