‘’Welcome to the UK’’ was established in 2014 and as of last year, we became a constitution charity.
Everything started through personal experiences. When the charity's founder, Ilda Stafa, came here 5 years ago, she couldn’t speak any English. She felt very isolated and she couldn’t find any organisation to help her around Southend-on-Sea, so she decided to do something about it!
Since September 2017, we run five weekly sessions:
- On Mondays, we support our members with ESOL classes run by our qualified tutor Val Henderson.
- On Tuesdays morning, we work in partnership with WEA to support our members with educational skills.
- On Tuesday afternoon, we organize a friendship group in the St. Lukes Community Hub to provide another area with multiple opportunities.
- On Fridays, we have our busiest day with a friendship group that gathers to share experiences, identify problems, and take action to resolve them.
- On Fridays, we have introduced ESOL classes in another area, Shoeburyness, run by a qualified teacher from Southend Adult Community College.
In each of our sessions, we offer crèche services for children running by A Better Start crèche staff. During these crèche sessions, we teach our children to be better prepared for primary school. The early years foundation stage sets standards for learning, development, and care for your child from birth to 4 years old.
We collaborate with many primary schools in Southend to support families with children in an academic and social environment.
We would like to improve our members' family social life. One of the events we organized was a visit to one of the best attractions of Southend - a visit to the Sea Life Adventure. We were pleased to have a day out with 45 parents and children altogether. We had an amazing time and especially the children were fascinated by sea life.
We took some of our families to Southend library so they could open an account to borrow books. A big satisfaction was for Diana, Eugenia’s daughter who is 15-years old. From that day, she loves the library and she uses it often.
From 2017, we have partnered with the Healthwatch to show our members all the departments of the Southend University Hospital, so it's easier for them in the future to get themselves around. The Southend University Hospital staff gave our families a tour of all the different sections of the hospital so they could be more familiar and confident.
During 2018, we tried to advertise and spread the word about our charity through presentations and many events we participated in.
Other events we have organized involve the International Women's Day (50 attendees), Christmas Party, Environment Cleaning Days, Cycling Classes, Family Support Events, and many more.
Since our first days, we have helped more than 250 families from 16 different nationalities overcome challenges that newcomers face when they move to the United Kingdom.
Many of our future plans include expanding into other areas of Southend, spread the word and help as many newcomers as possible, currently in process to register our constitution charity under Charity Commission, contact more schools and cultural / religion centers in Southend, and many more!
Please help us continue our contribution and reach our goals by supporting us today!