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Coronavirus Update:

Due to the ongoing lockdown restrictions, CARAS is continuing to run the majority of services online. There are no drop-ins and our premises remain closed. We continue to offer a wide range of activities including ESOL classes, social groups, advice work, and sports and leisure.
We are open to new referrals.

Thank you for your continued support.

 

Celebrating our Covid emergency funding:

Time to celebrate our staff and funders!

This month we would like to tell you about our Covid-19-response grant from the National Lottery Community Fund, which enables us to provide more casework and English classes online by contributing to the salaries of our Caseworker Myriam, our ESOL Coordinator Chris and our Director of Operations Pete.

(See our full team here!)

Here are some of their achievements since September 2020, thanks to the support of National Lottery players across the country:

 

Casework:
Thanks to this grant Myriam’s role has expanded. She has then recruited two additions to the casework volunteer team, including a “sign-poster” who supports young people to be aware of services and youth activities beyond CARAS which are also available during the pandemic, and a “referrer” who helps to bridge young people to these activities. Myriam has been building strong relations with trusted external organizations and services which has made signposting and referrals for casework more efficient. This will include exciting new work with the brilliant Bike Project soon – watch this space! As well as this, she’s been working with casework research volunteers to start creating a database of different services and referral partners, including updated information on how they are running during the lockdown, how young people can be referred, and what age groups they cover.

ESOL:
Chris joined CARAS in September and has since opened two new higher-level ESOL classes, one for young people and one for adults, which means we can now support intermediate to advanced students to improve their English skills. We’ve also opened beginners’ classes for adults, to meet the increased demand for classes at that level, and a second beginners’ class for young people so that those with lower levels of English can study twice a week. Chris has set up a regular programme of teacher training to support our volunteers to better meet the needs of our students while teaching online.

Operations:
Using this grant Pete has become full-time, working with project staff to redesign online access to our services during the Covid-19 pandemic and adapting and expanding our IT infrastructure for staff to work remotely. He has also supported the expansion of our team by two new staff members to meet the additional time required to run things online and to prepare for a return to in-person work, keeping us within government guidelines and adapting quickly to any changes that are made.

 

 

CARAS Wellbeing Session:

We have been enjoying every bit of seasonal change at our wellbeing sessions!

From gathering colours to having acorn manicures to sanding the table… Endless laughter and friendships. We also received a lovely gift from Lemon Tree Trust.
Hope to see the seeds sprouting soon!

    

 

 

CARAS Youth Club:

Young people participated in a competition for creating a COVID-19 campaign for young people. Fingers crossed that we see their ideas all across London.
Thanks to Kazzum Arts and Amanda Mascarenhas for helping out!

Here we are with the CARAS youth team celebrating winter online during one of our weekly sessions.

 

 

CARAS ESOL Club:

CARAS is running an online ESOL class for adults who are newly arrived in the UK and living in initial accommodation. Students said they wanted to learn English for orientation in their new home – transport, health services, shopping – but also language for making friends and socialising.
We asked learners how they felt at the end of the class, and the answer was unanimous: “I feel happy”.

 

 

CARAS Volunteering:

We had our online volunteer induction and safeguarding sessions this week.
Volunteers are our most valued asset and we love them for all of the skills, enthusiasm, and vision that they bring. They shared their initial hopes and fears about volunteering in our online volunteer induction session this week. induction and safeguarding sessions this week.

 

 

Meet us on Social Media:

If you’re not following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, do think about it. You will get all the CARAS updates, local and national job opportunities, and a lot more. Those who follow our Twitter and Facebook page will also know that we retweet posts and news stories relevant to our work and causes we care about.
Join us on Twitter here!
Join us on Instagram here!
Join us on Facebook here!

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