English UK began working with RefuAid in 2017 when it became the pathfinder charity for English UK’s Eddie Byers Fund, and is now renewing and expanding that partnership.

RefuAid will receive support from the ELT association, which will encourage its member schools to “offer [free] tuition if possible”.

The renewed association between the two organisations will allow more refugees to “get access to the language support they need” to work or study in the UK.

The charity has also worked with individual member schools before to provide language support in 2015, even prior to its previous English UK project.

According to English UK’s chief executive, the partnership has already proved extremely meaningful.

“In an industry that was hit harder than most by the pandemic, 75 [member schools] continued to offer free tuition to RefuAid clients,” said Jodie Gray.

“As a result, an amazing 606 refugees have been able to get the certification they needed to get their professional qualifications recognised here or get into higher education.”

A notable group of refugees were doctors, who have as such been able to use their expertise to assist the NHS in their hour of need during the Covid-19 pandemic.

There are, however, still 1,500 people on the waiting list for RefuAid’s program, and so English UK is “developing our partnership to support and encourage development” of the program, and supporting the charity’s work to help the effort.

There were plenty of words of gratitude from RefuAid’s co-founder, Anna Jones, who has said the charity is “incredibly grateful for the support” from English UK’s member schools.

“Without this program people would be locked out of employment and education due to the language barrier and requirement for qualifications such as OET or IELTS.

“English UK schools have provided a lifeline for those who’ve arrived in the UK seeking asylum to return to higher education or employment.”

“Without this program people would be locked out of employment and education”

RefuAid has previously delivered a program named Language: A Gateway which offers individuals up to 32 hours a week of structured English language support.

This is delivered through partnerships with British Council accredited language schools.

The unique partnership with English UK opens RefuAid’s program to around 350 accredited centres.

RefuAid’s work has resulted in hundreds of success stories which result in refugees fully being able to start a new life in the UK. One anaesthetist, Wafaa Alnason, arrived in the UK in 2017 after fleeing Syria.

Alnason has been working on the front line of the NHS during the pandemic at an East London hospital.

A full list of RefuAid’s 2021 graduates shows refugees from across the globe who have rebuilt their life thanks to RefuAid and the help of their partners, a list of which English UK will now be a part of.

“I’m blown away by the altruism and generosity of our members,” Gray added.

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