New Routes has run Women’s International Friendship Group since 2005, in partnership with several local community and Sure Start centres in Norwich.
We work with women from 23 different countries, speaking 17 different languages. Many of the women have little opportunity to meet people from outside their ethnic community or to practice speaking English.
Many are unable to attend mainstream groups and classes because of family or cultural taboos about mixed gender groups, or because of lack of childcare.
Women with pre-school children are welcome to bring them to the group, where volunteers read stories and play with children while the mothers are able to learn English, make new friends and learn about other cultures.
We share a meal each session, prepared by members of the group.