A partnership between College of North West London (CNWL) and Young Roots, a London-based charity, continues to go from strength to strength. Young Roots is a project which helps young refugees and asylum seekers between the ages of 11 and 25 that are alone in the UK, away from their families.
Young Roots’ mission is to support young refugees and asylum seekers to improve their wellbeing and fulfil their potential, through intensive one-to-one casework, youth and sporting activities, English language mentoring, youth leadership and access to specialist therapeutic and legal advice. The main focus of activity at CNWL is on the Peer Support Programme, where students who are more experienced in English are matched with newly arrived young people who are less confident English speakers.
After an understandable hiatus during the pandemic, the college and Young Roots re-started their Peer Support Programme in Willesden in October 2021 and in Wembley in January 2022. The scheme, operated in conjunction with the college’s ESOL department, runs for 2 hours per week and, since October 2021, it has resulted in the training of sixteen mentors who assisted 25 beginners in both campuses with their English skills.
The programme has been a great success as shown by the following glowing testimonials provided by participants.
“I learned many new things from my teacher for example how to teach my students, and how to behave with them”
“I have learned different methods of teaching, like making a sentence and then cutting it out and then telling the students to join the sentence again”
“I think I improved a lot now than at first. At first, I was afraid to teach but now I have gained more confidence”
“I always had a dream when I was small to teach children. But now my dream came true by helping the students in their difficulties”
Stephen Davis, Group Principal and CEO of the United Colleges Group, said:
“We’re delighted to play our part in the important work which Young Roots does in helping refugees learn the language skills they’ll need to flourish here in the UK.”