Seetec Outsource has opened a new service for non-English speaking residents of Toxteth in Liverpool, helping those who would not ordinarily be able to access education and training due to cultural barriers or childcare commitments.

The ESOL ‘Stay and Play’ community outreach programme is aimed at women with young children who have limited knowledge of English and are unable to attend ESOL (English as a Second Language) courses held in city centre locations.

Local authors Natalie Reeves Billing (whose work includes the Monster Me Collection, and Ben and the Bug) and Vince Cleghorne (Smiles: Say it with a smile, and Mich and Moose) took part in the launch event, and read stories to the children who attended.

Courses will run for 6 weeks at the PAL Multicultural Centre in the heart of Toxteth, making them accessible to local residents. The women will be supported to learn basic English, and with everyday tasks such as shopping, booking appointments and filling in forms, while educational toys and games will be provided for the children.

The funding for this programme has been provided by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s devolved Adult Education Budget. The programme is part of a series of innovative test and learn pilots agreed by the Combined Authority to address local market failures and test innovative approaches in course content and delivery.

Seetec Outsource is also working in partnership with the Red Cross, who will provide advice and support with vaccinations.

Commenting, Anne Seddon, Deputy Head of Education and Skills at Seetec Outsource, said:

“We’re delighted that the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has provided Seetec with the means to support this local community with much needed English Language skills. Our English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Academy helps those with limited communication, social and functional skills, and provides them with the confidence to secure high-quality employment and integrate successfully into life in the UK.

“Local women who are not native English speakers are some of the most in need of support with developing communication skills, and I am extremely proud that we are able to support the local community through this important programme.”