English for Women group English for Women group

National Lottery boost for English for Women project

2 June 2023

English for women - a project that helps reduce isolation amongst women who speak little or no English - has been awarded £100,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund.

The project provides weekly sessions where women can come together to learn everyday English, gain an understanding of British culture, and make new friends. The learners are supported by teams of trained volunteers through sessions specially developed to help build learners confidence in their language skills so they can speak to their child’s teacher, use public transport, find work, or volunteer in their local community.

English for Women, which started in 2015, began at Chelmsford Cathedral to support Afghan refugees who had relocated to the city. Today the project welcomes people from more than 30 countries and is part of the Chelmsford Diocese Mothers’ Union. English for Women is currently funded entirely through charitable donations and fundraising, and the grant will help support some of the project’s activities over the next five years.

Currently the project operates a mixture of online and face to face sessions in Chelmsford and Goodmayes each week. In addition, it offers a weekly session called English for All which supports both men and women.

Project Coordinator Susannah Owen said:

“We are delighted to receive this grant from the National Lottery. English for Women has grown to become a vibrant community where people come not just to learn conversational English, but to make connections and create positive opportunities for themselves. This money will make a big difference to the project, and we want to say a huge thank you to The National Lottery Community Fund.”

“The grant will enable us to develop and expand sessions based on local need so we can reach many more of those in our communities who are isolated by language barriers. Demand for our services is growing, so alongside this very welcome grant we’re continuing to fundraise and seek donations so we can help even more families.”

Find out more about English for Women, or if you’d like to help support this growing project, please email admin@englishforwomen.org.