TimeBank awarded £1.12m to provide English language training

Chief executive Helen Walker says the award recognises the volunteering charity's expertise in leading and delivering projects on complex social issues

Helen Walker
Helen Walker

The volunteering charity TimeBank has been awarded £1.12m from the government to provide language training for long-term UK residents with little or no knowledge of English.

TimeBank is one of three not-for-profit organisations awarded a share of £6m from the Department for Communities and Local Government as part of the Talking Together programme, set up to bring English language learning into the heart of the community.

FaithAction, a network of faith-based and community organisations, has won £1.1m to run English language classes in places of worship and other venues.

The community technology social enterprise the Tinder Foundation was among the four other organisations to receive funding from the programme.

TimeBank’s project focuses on teaching everyday English on practical themes and activities such as talking to school staff or using the internet. Based in Birmingham and Leicester, it will also develop close links with local businesses through employees volunteering to work with projects.

In the first stage of its project, TimeBank will recruit and train 70 volunteers and involve local and community organisations in supporting 1,300 residents – many of them women – in practical language skills.

Those volunteers will then train others so thousands more can benefit.

Helen Walker, chief executive of TimeBank, said: "The award recognises TimeBank’s considerable expertise in leading and delivering volunteer projects that tackle complex social issues.

"We know that language skills are vital to build strong, united communities and we’re looking forward to applying our learning, skills and experience to support these marginalised residents to feel fully part of society."

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