Charities awarded funding for life-changing ELT projects
19 September 2019

After a fantastic number of applications, we are pleased to announce the Eddie Byers Fund grant recipients for 2019.

We are delighted to support a range of projects from English language outreach to isolated women and one-to-one English language tuition for asylum-seeking children in the UK, to English through drama for Palestinian children and lessons for 400 Tanzanian students transitioning from Swahili primary school to English secondary school.

The fund is entirely created by generous donations and fundraising challenges - our deepest thanks to everyone who donated, without you we could not support these fantastic projects.

Our next fundraising challenge will be the The Isle of Wight Challenge on Saturday 2 - Sunday 3 May 2020. And everyone is invited join our team and adventurous ELT industry friends to walk the Isle of Wight's spectacular coastal path in just two days in aid of the Eddie Byers Fund. read more +

Applications for the Eddie Byers Fund will reopen in spring 2020. All UK registered charities are welcome to apply if they have a project that uses English language teaching to transform lives.

Find out more about our 2019 grant recipients:


Eddie Byers Fund awards 2019

ASHA North Staffordshire

Based in North Staffordshire, Asha will train five asylum seeker volunteers to teach English to isolated women in their homes or during group sessions with a theme such as cooking, knitting or sewing.

Barbara James of Asha said: "We find a variety of different situations of isolated women. Women without husbands, and sometimes with children, are grouped in women only houses. We have found some hardly dare come out of their rooms. When we try to talk to them, they can barely communicate. It is heart-breaking to see."

The programme will give the volunteers and students a place and purpose in the wider community by helping others or through developing the ability to communicate more effectively in their everyday lives.

The charity has nearly 15 years' experience working with asylum seekers and refugees by running activities and services for women, children and men of many nationalities.

Enthum Foundation

Opened in 2018, the Enthum Foundation will use their grant to provide one-to-one English language tuition sessions per week for asylum seeking children who are offered supported accommodation by the foundation.

The foundation supports the children physically, mentally and emotionally in a safe and welcoming home environment at Enthum House.

Jo McDonald of the Enthum Foundation said: "The children at Enthum House now, and the ones who will come to us in the future are some of the most vulnerable and traumatised in the UK. Although they have experienced unimaginable loss and hardship, they are also some of the most resilient, driven and hopeful. We believe in their potential to become outstanding members of society and future leaders and are truly worth investing in."

With the help of tuition, the foundation has seen their community of young people grow more independent, learning to cook meals, develop healthy sleeping patterns and use public transport.

The objective of the Eddie Byers Fund is to improve the quality of ESOL tuition for our residents and begin to extend our service to other young refugees in the community.

Hands up project

The Hands Up Project helps Palestinian children learn English through drama clubs, writing and performing plays. The project also provides weekly online language learning sessions for around 500 Palestinian children to link up with volunteers from around the world.

The grant will be used to train 75 young people from 15 different schools in Gaza to create and perform their own pieces of theatre that can be performed remotely at worldwide events. The project will also equip 15 teachers with the skills to run workshops in the future with more students.

Nick Bilbrough of The Hands Up Project said: "Remote theatre is a rich experience for both participants in Gaza and audiences in various locations around the world. It develops intercultural awareness, empowers the children and teachers by providing them with a voice, and enables them to tell their stories in the wider world."

Oasis English Language School

Located in Ipswich, Oasis English Language School helps migrants and refugees learn English to help them integrate into the local communities and cultures. The school primarily helps women who have little interaction with their communities due to their lack of spoken English skills.

With the Eddie Byers Fund grant, the school will deliver four 90-minute literacy lessons to 40 students over 30 weeks. Many of these students are mothers who are in real need because they are currently unable to help their children with their school work and cannot understand written communications from the schools.

The school has proven track record of enabling students to learn through lessons and a social program for them and their families. In 2018, the school also received a grant from the Eddie Byers Fund to replace old coursebooks to help students better integrate and access services, education and employment.

Tanzania Development Trust

Over the past 43 years, the Tanzania Development Trust has changed the lives of thousands in Tanzania's poorest communities by helping to provide education, healthcare and clean water. Now, the trust will use their Eddie Byers Fund grant to run a three-month English course for 400 students starting secondary school in September.

In Tanzania, primary school lessons are taught in Swahili, while secondary school lessons are taught in English. This course will help students access the curriculum, introduce them to their new teachers and improve their chances of success. In addition to this, the trust will also pilot a course for illiterate mothers who missed out on an education.

The trust received a grant last year to fund a similar project, which was said to have greatly increased the parents' perceptions of the value of education and had marked impact on the achievement and confidence of the students.

The Welcoming Association

The Welcoming Association will receive funding to run a free outdoor English learning programme for migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and other ethnic minorities in Edinburgh.

The programme will build on the success and experience of the association's climate change project 'Welcoming a Greener Future' by focusing on environmental topics consisting of drop-in classes for three levels: elementary, intermediate and advanced. Participants will have the opportunity to improve their vocabulary and use of English, while learning useful skills such as gardening, how to reduce food waste and other ways to minimise the environmental impact of their lifestyle.

Founded in 2000, the association welcomes over 1500 new participants every year. This outdoor programme will benefit all participants and volunteer teachers who are interested in environmental topics and eager to play an active role in their English learning. The programme aims to give participants transferable skills that will build their confidence and employability.

The association also hopes the project will benefit the wider Edinburgh community by participants becoming active members in the city and generating a positive environment impact for all.

Congratulations to all Eddie Byers Fund grant recipients. Watch this space for updates on their progress and the transformative impacts they will make through English language learning.

If you were unsuccessful this year please do look out for the next round of funding in spring 2020 and read the application guidelines carefully before applying.


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