A project which uses singing to help migrant and refugee women learn the English language is expanding to Ramsgate.
United Mothers was founded six years ago by Dr Sheila Macdonald – director of the language charity, Beyond the Page – and in creative collaboration with Wantsum Arts which is headed up by Jodi Watson.
It has been running free English as a second language (ESOL) sessions and community events in Margate and Garlinge since 2018 and will now open that up further from a new base at the Corner Café in Ramsgate.
James Robinson, from Beyond The Page, said: “We have face to face classes, and during the last year we have also set up a number of different online sessions, catering for all levels of ability and with the aim of cultural integration at its core.
“We have a unique approach of teaching English through the use of ‘Natural Voice’, which encourages the exploration and expression of everyone’s unique voice through shared singing.
“We’ve been operating in Margate since 2018 and it has always been our plan to expand. The idea is to provide this for East Kent and particularly Thanet. We want to open more centres and this is the first step.
“This coming January we are opening a new centre in Ramsgate, which we’re very excited about, and looking forward to expanding the scope of our support for women in East Kent.
“There has been quite a lot of interest already where we have gone and spoken to local schools and advertised on facebook and Instagram.”
United Mothers benefits women with child care responsibilities who have moved into the UK and are learning English as an additional language. Becoming part of the project empowers women to build their linguistic skills, cultural understanding and confidence, leading to more active involvement in school life.
The Ramsgate sessions start on January 11 at The Corner in Whitehall Road and take place every Tuesday from 9am to 11.30am.
For more information call Jodi on 07909 565255 or visit www.beyondthepage.org.uk