“What an honour to be the winner of the Festival of Learning Presidents’ Award!

I am so proud that CARAS learners, volunteers and staff have got this recognition for the work they have done in creating a programme that supports people to learn, practice, and grow in confidence and happiness.”

– Eleanor Brown,
Managing Director, CARAS.



Impact Evaluation of CARAS – 2021:

This year we had the first-ever independent impact evaluation of CARAS!

Looking at the last two years of our work, the brilliant Eido Research have spoken to community members and partners and crunched our engagement numbers. The results tell the story we see every day but haven’t been able to show like this to you before.


Here are some of the insights in the report:

CARAS’ effectiveness in four areas of impact was measured through a series of before and after questions with beneficiaries. The chart below shows a summary of the changes in the four areas. The changes across all four are substantial. The qualitative interview data firmly attributed causality to CARAS’ programmes.


  • CARAS ESOL classes attract a diverse group of nationalities.


  • Communication skills are core to each of CARAS’ activities and yet are taught most directly through the provision of English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) classes.


CARAS also gives participants opportunities to consolidate their communication skills as they meet with each other socially.

“When you come, you meet a lot of people and volunteers; everyone is kind and you learn and meet someone new every day while improving your English by talking to people.”


During the stakeholder interviews, all five stakeholders mentioned that through both ESOL and other programmes at CARAS, beneficiaries are effectively building their communication skills.

“CARAS provides [participants] with the opportunity to develop their language skills; they have got good teachers… [The participants] get extra confidence from the conversation classes and the ESOL classes, where they get a chance to go over what they studied at college and [have it] explained it again but in a different way with a different learning style”.

“[Participants] that I’ve met have developed their language skills; they
developed their confidence, their ability to relate to [others] more.”


Here you can have a look at the full evaluation report on our website, and please share your thoughts with us by replying back to this email.



Coronavirus Update:

We are delighted to have increasing opportunities to see people in person again. We have a number of face-to-face activities happening outdoors every week – two groups of gardeners have been sprucing up the Community Garden with long-term partners Transition Town Tooting. Young people are enjoying a range of physical activities including cycling, running and football. We have piloted the safe running of classes indoors and (barring a change of government recommendations) will be moving many of our activities back to face-to-face from next month. We have also been able to plan a fantastic outdoor gathering to celebrate our volunteers.

Alongside all of this, we are extremely proud of our robust, engaging, and wide-ranging offer of online sessions. These cover individual guidance and advice, English classes, social groups, creative writing, and workshops.

We will be taking the opportunity to learn from the last year and make careful choices about which activities are best suited to each mode of delivery, aiming for the best of all worlds.

We look forward to seeing more and more of you, face to face or online, wherever we can meet.



Making a monthly donation to CARAS:

The best way to support our work is to sign up for a monthly donation, of any size.

Donations can be made by setting up a recurring bank transfer or via Virgin Giving.

Please contact us for our bank details: fundraising@caras.org.uk

Thank you!



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