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Hackney migrant women's charity toasts successful first year

PUBLISHED: 12:20 08 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:00 11 September 2017

Xenia helps migrant women learn to speak Englsih in a friendly social setting. Picture: Xenia

Xenia helps migrant women learn to speak Englsih in a friendly social setting. Picture: Xenia

Archant

One year after launching as a workshop for migrant women to meet and learn English, a Hackney Wick charity is hosting packed out weekly sessions.

Xenia founder Theodora Cadbury expected a handful of guests at the first welcome session last summer, but it proved so popular it now hosts regularly meets at Hackney Museum and Space Studios in Mare Street in collaboration with Hackney Learning Trust.

The team say they focus on migrant women because they can be particularly disadvantaged when trying to learn English for a range of reasons, including a lack of access to childcare.

To celebrate its first birthday, the charity held a tea party for their regulars to come and chat about the significance of tea in their cultures and share their blends.

Anna, a regular Xenia attendee from Portugal said: “I like to share and come together with others, meeting new people every week. I think my English has been improving. When I first started in Xenia I couldn’t speak, now I feel confident.” Sultan, from Turkey added: “Xenia is a good opportunity for me because I am often in the house, it’s nice to be able to attend.”

Theodora said: “At Xenia we are creating a community that welcomes and supports, so that every woman who participates can learn and share in equal measure through friendships and trust.

“It’s a simple model, and anyone that comes along sees that the respectful, creative, social space is held by everyone in the room - when you provide ways for people to connect, they make it happen!”

If you are an English learner or an English speaker and would like to get involved, check out xenia.org.uk for details on the next session.

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