The U.K. Charity Registration No:1078764
Our local work in the West London Borough of Ealing:
Since 2001 we have been networking with Southall's Dalit communities of different faiths, encouraging them to come together to discuss common exclusion issues caused by caste discrimination and encouraging their attendance in regular meetings and forums, where they can gain local information, integrate with other local communities and into mainstream local society.
In 2006, we also started working with Southall's 'recently arrived' S. Asian migrant communities who face similar issues of exclusion, nationality and language and whose disadvantage is further compounded by their lack of English and lack of knowledge of local area and services. We have run: Community Help Desks, offering practical help and advice; Communication English training for Adults, to improve employment opportunities and; encouraged their attendance at local democracy meetings where they can gain mainstream information, voice opinions and be part of local decision making.
VODI Supplementary School for Reading and Literacy [VODI Reading School]
In 2013, at the request of our parent users we initiated a 'Get Southall Reading' club, based on the London Evening Standard's widely acclaimed 'Get London Reading' concept, which we have been developing since 2014 as a supplementary school [VODI Supplementary School for Reading and Literacy].
Our Reading School improves the reading and literacy skills of 1st generation Primary schoolchildren of migrant parents whose mother tongue languages are not English. As many of the children do not have anyone at home who can listen to them read from school books or help with school homework, we offer twice weekly Reading, English and Maths practice during term time and creative reading activities during school holidays, to further children's reading and literacy development.
We also provide supervised volunteering opportunities to Secondary school Peer children who have younger siblings at our Reading School, who gain valuable work experience in lesson planning and English and reading mentoring.
We also work with parents, through the school's Parents Support Group, which has become a social platform for isolated parents to meet regularly to discuss educational concerns and family issues.
Tutors increase parents' understanding of the UK educational system, clarify school information, show them how they can support their children's literacy development well outside of school and additionally encourage parents to develop own English communication skills, have better access to mainstream information and services, and have helped some to secure part time employment.
Our school has attracted support from: Ealing Council; through local ward residents, and a ‘Beat The Street’ project which saw parents take 2nd prize;
local business, gaining Atul Pathak Community Awards for 2 consecutive years in 2015 and 2016;
support from local schools through a First Give grant, and a; Santander Discovery grant.
Longer term grant support from John Lyon’s Charity has helped our supplementary school to: become members of the National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education [NRCSE], helped us to acquire a Quality Framework Bronze Award
where we have developed policies to provide a safe and welcoming environment for children to learn; and trial options for part sustainability. We also aim to acquire a NRCSE Silver Award.