Moving from a different culture into British society can be a stressful and lonely experience, especially if you have left your family and support network behind.
ICN offers support to refugee, asylum-seeking, and migrant women and their families.
For many migrant women, language can be a huge barrier to making connections and many rely on their husbands to communicate for them. Not being able to make new friends or build a strong social network can then impact on their children’s lives. Even the simplest things like helping with homework can be a struggle if you don’t understand the language or have some support to turn to.
ICN’s Women and Families Programme helps them to find their voices. Our support workers visit families, offering practical advice and help with things that we take for granted, such as health care, education, and the UK welfare system.
We also encourage women to improve their language skills by providing ESOL classes during school hours, with creche facilities. Having access to a creche enables women to study without background interference and helps their children to adjust to being away from their mothers, ready for starting school. Being around trained nursery teachers also improves the children’s English skills, meaning that they have a head start when they begin nursery or pre-school.
For older migrant children, ICN runs a homework club which is regularly attended by local primary and secondary age pupils. This resource helps to improve English skills, advance at school, and make new, lasting friendships for students who may feel socially isolated.
Our weekly ‘Conversation Corner’ allows women to exchange skills, build friendships, practise their English, and share experiences.
The Women and Families Programme is supported by a number of grants, while our Creche and Homework Clubs are sponsored by BBC Children in Need.