01 February 2017

LEAH is seeking a new treasurer. If you are passionate about languages, cultures and social cohesion, this could be the right voluntary role for you! Please see Treasurer application pack for further details. Deadline for applications is 28th February 2017.

03 January 2017

LEAH Achievements Graphic

7 November 2016

It is Trustees' Week and we would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to all our trustees for their support. Trustees help our organisation in many different ways from attending networking events and meeting and inspiring volunteers to developing strategic pathways, overseeing finances and managing risk to fundraising and encouraging employer donations.

We currently have vacancies for trustees with legal, commercial or fundraising experience. Should you or someone you know be interested in learning more about this opportunity please contact Abby Mardon via email on director@leah.org.uk or call 020 8255 6144.

 3 November 2016

We are delighted to announce that Linda Stone, has joined us this week as a part-time LEAH co-ordinator. She will be working on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Linda is also a LEAH volunteer tutor and has experience both with a 1 to 1 client and with the Ham People's Project.

Linda Stone

"Having helped Zoe with HamJam (now Ham People’s Project), I am delighted to be stepping into her place, although we shall miss her and they will be hard shoes to fill. In my previous role I worked extensively with schools, marketing and providing child protection software at a time when awareness of e-safety issues and cyberbullying was very low. Issues of vulnerability, isolation and integration are close to my heart and it will be wonderful now to be able to see the growing confidence of LEAH clients, as well as knowing the personal rewards of becoming a tutor. I’m really enjoying my growing relationship with my 1:1 client, and I'm looking forward to sharing that enthusiasm with other LEAH volunteers and clients, at every stage of their journey."

 3 October 2016

LEAH director with RBUT Mayor and Mayoress

LEAH director, Abby Mardon, yesterday met with Richmond Upon Thames Mayor Cllr David Linnette, who was presenting a cheque for one thousand pounds kindly donated by Kew Village Market.  Kew Village Market is held on the first Sunday of each month and is run by volunteers with the aim of raising money for the local community. They were celebrating their 5th anniversary and we feel very privileged to have been selected for one of their donations. 

7 July 2016

Photo of LEAH staff team

Last Thursday LEAH staff invited volunteers to a Thank You Party at the Canbury Pavilion, Kingston. We enjoyed delicious mediterranean style food from Ranya (a local restaurant based in Fife Road, Kingston) and best of all the weather was kind and we were able to sit outside, chatting until the stars came out. See the photos at https://flic.kr/s/aHskzLCRfS  

27 June 2016

LEAH literacy class receive certificates

It is our last literacy class of the year and today we said goodbye to many of our clients who will be progressing to college in September. They've worked really hard and we look forward to seeing them improve even further with the more intensive study possible at college.

We are living in uncertain times following the referendum result on Friday. However rest assured LEAH is carrying on as usual. Class with resume in September and there are limited places available for new students with low literacy levels, should you know anyone for whom it might be suitable. 

11 June 2016

On Saturday morning we were very honoured to be presented with our Go Volunteering Kingston‬ Quality Award by the Queen's representative for the Borough, Deputy Lieutenant Geoffrey Godbold. Many thanks to our representatives on the day: Trustees‬ Joan and Amira; ‪Volunteers Ruth, Jenny and Linda and Head of programmes Louise.

Kingston Quality Award ceremony attended by staff, trustees and volunteers of LEAH

7 June 2016

It is Volunteers' Week and to celebrate a group of LEAH tutors and their clients enjoyed a day out in Kew Gardens. We were lucky with the weather and were able to sit on the grass beside the Palm House and share a picnic together. One of the highlights of the day was the Rhododendron Dell which is spectacular at this time of year. We also climbed up the Treetop Towers for a tree level view of the gardens. 

Kew Gardens picnic

24 May 2016

LEAH held its Annual Review Meeting at the Rose Theatre on Tuesday 24 May. We were delighted the new Deputy Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Rowena Bass could join us on one of her first engagements. She is pictured below along with clients from our Ham Jam project. The clients were very nervous but spoke movingly about how the group has helped them feel less lonely, be more confident with their English and in one instance get a job. A copy of our annual report can be downloaded here

Ham Jam with Deputy Mayor

16 May 2016

Jacqueline Wilson visit to literacy class with new book

LEAH patron Dame Jacqueline Wilson came to visit us today.  These were her impressions:

I was very impressed by my visit to the literacy class in the peaceful airy environment of the new Quaker Meeting Rooms.  Although the LEAH tutors are gentle and friendly it must take a lot of courage for the students to come to class initially.  Some can't read or write in their own languages because they never had the opportunity to go to school in their countries of origin.  But they've clearly quickly blossomed since coming to classes, and can learn in a relaxed atmosphere, their children at their sides if needs be. 

The class is divided into two.  One group is still at an elementary stage but learning fast.  This week they were studying numbers, and the ladies had fun guessing my age and we all shared how many children we each have.  The second group are now competent English speakers and asked me various questions about my working day, my books - and my flamboyant jewellery!  I was touched when they said that their children read my books and that they hoped to be able to read them too one day. 

It was heart-warming to make friends with such a diverse and determined group of women, and to realise how much we all have in common in spite of coming from different countries and cultures.  I'm so proud to be a Patron of LEAH.

9 May 2016

Staff, volunteers and clients from LEAH were specially invited by the Mayor and Mayoress of Kingston-upon-Thames to the Mayor's Parlour at The Guildhall in Kingston. The Mayor, Roy Arora, in his last week of office, wanted to express his gratitude for our work supporting ethnic minorities to improve their English language skills.  Originally from Northern India, The Mayor and Mayoress understand the challenges facing those who arrive in Kingston without speaking English as their first language and were delighted to talk to volunteer tutors and their clients about their experiences.  

Client, volunteers and staff of LEAH at the Mayor's Parlour

27 April 2016

LEAH has just been awarded the Kingston Quality Award for volunteer management along with 5 other local organisations. A tribute to the wonderful support and help we get from all our volunteers. More 

14 April 2016

We are delighted that Abby Mardon has joined us as Interim Director whilst Kate Brown is on Maternity Leave. Please see our about us page for more details.

7 April 2016

Freda with Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Roy Arora

Freda Lambert who was LEAH's chair of trustees from 1997 to 2015 was honoured by the Mayor at a ceremony at the Guildhall, last week. Freda is pictured above receiving her Mayor's Award from Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Roy Arora. More ...

14 March 2016

On Thursday 10 March, Learn English at Home held a wonderful fundraising dinner. We were joined by many friends and supporters at Deea in Kingston for a curry, quiz and raffle. Thanks so much for all your generosity which has enabled us to raise an amazing £800.   Additional photos from the event are on Flickr.

2 February 2016

Freda with Mayor and Mayoress of Kingston

On Friday 29th January at the Guildhall, Kingston we were joined by His Worshipful the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston, Councillor Roy Arora and his wife the Mayoress as we celebrated 22 years of Chairship by Freda Lambert, who stepped down at the end of last year. A great speech was given by Joan McConn, fellow trustee and friend recalling many of the highlights of Freda's stewardship of LEAH. You can read a transcript on our blog. Additional photos from the event are on Flickr.

29 January 2016

Learn English at Home is in the news again, this week we've been increasing awareness of our work through this article in the Surrey Comet.

January 2016

LEAH director, Kate Brown, has been responding to David Cameron's promise to invest £20m in English language lessons for speakers of other languages. Listen to her talking on Radio Jackie earlier this week.

6 January 2016

Wind-up 2015

23 November 2015

Deputy mayor of Richmond visits Ham Jam 

The Ham Jam club enjoyed a visit from local councillors Jean Loveland (Deputy Mayor of Richmond) and Sarah Tippett on Thursday 19 November.  We shared stories of how we came to live in the Ham area during a silk painting craft session. We were also joined by the People’s Health Trust which has invested £20,000 in the project using money raised by HealthFreedom through The Health Lottery. 

Councillor Jean Loveland (Deputy Mayor of Richmond) said: “It is great to see the community coming together and to see the difference confidence and feeling part of something can have. I would encourage anyone who’d like to volunteer to consider training as a LEAH tutor.”

John Hume, Chief Executive of People’s Health Trust, said: “This is a novel idea that is making a real difference to people in the community who have previously felt isolated.”

Ham Jam

23 November 2016

New Chair Elect appointed

We are pleased to have appointed Kim Bailey as the Chair - Elect of LEAH. Kim is an existing trustee of LEAH, and brings to the role a passionate commitment to LEAH's clients, experience from a career spanning finance and the public sector and a strong ambition to see LEAH thrive and increase in impact. "I'm delighted to be given the opportunity to lead LEAH at this exciting and challenging time in its growth.  We have big ambitions to develop our language and well-being services, so that we can support more ethnic minority adults to learn English and take an active role in their local community. This next chapter in LEAH's history is only possible due to the groundwork and commitment of our long-serving Chair, Freda Lambert.  She has led the organisation for some 20 years, and I look forward to working with her and LEAH Director, Kate Brown, during this period of transition for the organisation." Kim will take over as chair on 1 December.

Trustee profiles  

We were proudly one of 30 charities shortlisted for this prestigious national award but sadly did not make the final five. Please check out the website for more information http://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2015/oct/14/the-guardian-charity-awards-2015-shortlist 

A great day for LEAH at the Kingston Dragon Boat Race

People flocked to the riverside on Sunday 19th July to see over 50 teams battle it out at the Kingston Rotary Dragon Boat race. Team LEAH pushed the boat out, by paddling hard and achieved their best time of 1 minute 09 seconds. Well done Team LEAH - we all had a fantastic day and great work with all the fundraising! We hope we can surpass last years target of £1200.

Dragon Boat 2015

 

LEAH volunteers enjoy an alfresco party with a Korean theme 

Leah summer party

It was warm and sunny last Thursday evening and LEAH volunteers enjoyed chatting and eating outdoors at the Canbury Pavilion. For most it was a first time to try Korean food, which was hugely popular with many coming back for second and dare I say it, third helpings. Thanks also to Jinny who has been learning English with LEAH but kindly offered to help teach us all a little Korean. To see more photos from the event follow this link https://www.flickr.com/gp/133724927@N04/39saXr

 LEAH holds Annual Review Meeting on June 25 at Kingston Quaker Centre 

 Alfreda with Mayor

On Thursday LEAH held its Annual Review Meeting at the Kingston Quaker Centre. We were very privileged to have in attendance the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston, Mr Roy Arora. Guests enjoyed speeches from Justine Rego on the demographics of Kingston and Richmond, Martha Earley from the Kingston Equalities and Community Engagement Team and Louise Gibson on LEAH's year of achievement. The highlight though was the speeches from LEAH clients who spoke so movingly of how learning English has transformed their lives. There was hardly a dry eye in the room.

 LEAH wins NIACE Adult Learners' Week Award 2015

Adult Learners' Week

At a ceremony at the London Canal Museum on Wednesday 10 June, LEAH trustees Helen Henn and Kim Bailey, together with co-ordinator Sarah Huckstep and previous client Sawsan Mohammed received the NIACE Adult Learners' Week 2015 South-East Project Award. This award is in recognition of the remarkable achievement our volunteers have made in helping ethnic minority adults to improve their English language skills and the transforming effect this has on their clients' lives. Thank you and well done to all our clients, volunteers, trustees and staff for their brilliant work.

 The sun shines on LEAH's visit to Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens May 2015

A group of over 30 clients, volunteers and staff visited Kew Gardens on 13 May. We were amazed by the spectacular colours in the Rhodendron walk, cooed over the chicks from the Sackler Bridge and shared a picnic in the sunshine all whilst chatting and making new friends. A great day out was enjoyed by all.  

Braving the cold to learn English with Walkers and Talkers

Walkers and Talkers

Determined to learn English whatever the weather a brave group of LEAH clients and volunteers enjoyed a leisurely walk along the river Thames to Teddington Lock. For details of future Walkers and Talkers events see http://www.leah.org.uk/assets/documents/walkers-and-talkers

Deputy Mayor of Kingston visits LEAH class in Surbiton

 Cathy Roberts visits Surbiton Class

Councillor Cathy Roberts visited Surbiton Children's centre to talk about local government and her role as Deputy Mayor of Kingston. She explained how things work and answered questions from LEAH clients. 

LEAH volunteer on New Malden's Radio Bang, 22nd August 7-8pm

Helen Henn, LEAH Trustee talked about LEAH’s work and her experience as a 1:1 home tutor and community class tutor on New Malden's Radio Bang.  You can listen to the interview by following this link. 

http://www.mixcloud.com/radiokimchibang/

Learn English at Home - change of status

Effective 01 April 2014 - Learn English at Home- has changed its status from a charity to a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO). This new status does not have any implications on the services delivered by the charity. Learn English at Home will continue all its current service provision. Most charities currently exist as either trusts or unincorporated associations, but these structures give their volunteer trustees a legal responsibility for any debts the charity creates. To protect trustees from this responsibility, charities previously had to register as a company – a process that can be too expensive or complicated for some small charities like LEAH. Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) are a new legal form for charities that stops a charity’s trustees being responsible for its debts.

For more details on charitable incorporated organisations please see:

https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/making-it-easier-to-set-up-and-run-a-charity-social-enterprise-or-voluntary-organisation