New Routes has run a women’s-only English class (previously the Women’s International Friendship Group) since 2005, initially in partnership with several local community and Sure Start centres in Norwich.
We work with women from over 25 different countries, speaking many different languages. Many of the women who attend our English classes 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.
Pre-2020, women with pre-school children were welcome to bring them to the group, where volunteers read stories and played with children while the mothers were able to learn English, make new friends and learn about other cultures.
Our women’s-only classes are now delivered online.