Our education programme began in September 2016. Initially, we were only offering English and Mathematics classes to refugees and asylum seekers who were staying in our emergency accommodation, as part of our Safe Haven project. However, as the weeks went on, we found more and more migrants from the wider community requesting English classes, stating that they were unable to receive classes from colleges, or that they needed more academic based classes that would help them transition into higher education. We started with approximately 20 learners in September, and without actively promoting our services, student numbers have risen to more than 60 learners. Be it learners at the beginning of their educational journey, or those on the brink of university, we endeavour to support all those who enter our doors through the provision of high quality education in a homely, social atmosphere.
With an ever-growing demand, we are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to provide one to one tuition and in class support. We always try to accommodate the needs of volunteers, and will provide any training needed. So if you are interested in becoming part of our educational program and supporting others to make tangible differences in their lives, please do not hesitate to contact us!
Literacy and Numeracy Training
Over the past two years Cornerstone has seen a dramatic increase in the number of asylum seekers and refugees accessing our services. Initially, the needs revolved around emergency accommodation. However, it soon became apparent that these individuals from Syria, Sudan, Eritrea and other countries, faced a myriad of social, educational and emotional obstaclesthat transcended homelessness.
Amongst these concerns was a need for English classes. Cornerstone Manager, Angela Shannon observed this issue on a daily basis, watching as these newly arrived migrants struggled to find employment opportunities, engage with health and welfare services, and essentially, settle into their new host nation.
It soon became apparent that local colleges were too inundated to support the needs of all the refugees coming into Manchester, and therefore, Angela sought to address this problem by appointing Andrés as the educational coordinator to set up daily English classes at Cornerstone.