Govan Community Project

ESOL Provision for Refugees
Image for Govan Community Project
Lead Organisation:
Govan Community Project
Award Amount:

This project enabled us to deliver 2 additional classes a week where we reached 45 new students across 52 classes in Govan alone, as well as adding interactive elements and excursions to the programme.

New Scots reached

Key Information

Key Information


Kin Kitchen, Urban Roots, Moogety

Geographical reach

Govan and Cardonald


May 2023  -Nov 2023

Target Groups

Refugees, Asylum Seekers, New Scots

Project Type

Spreading good practice


Our project aimed to reduce isolation, increase language skills, confidence and great local connections for learners. Demand was high for ESOL with very few classes available in Glasgow. We increased our classes as well as adding new elements to our programme.

Involvement of New Scots in project

We changed very little about the project as we saw changes in the focusses of sessions and collective actions.

This change was because our approach enables students to identify and choose the topics of focus for our sessions.

We did less craft and arts based sessions than planned as our students elected to focus on cooking related lessons and sessions which were a huge success.

A member of our community was able to take the lead in delivering this session.

This session also contributed to our skills share sessions. We delivered all 6 skills share sessions as initially outlined.

This included 1 IT session, 4 cooking sessions and a gardening session.

Working together with the students, we chose where to go for our planned excursions or ‘Collective Actions’.

The learners were very keen to visit the beach, to get to know new areas of Glasgow and visit our capital city.

We had the chance to go on a number of different excursions during the project, including the Riverside Museum, Kelvingrove Museum and Park, Edinburgh and Portobello Beach and the Burrell Collection.

These trips provided the chance to put into practice language people had been learning in class, for example vocabulary related to transport/directions.

Our excursions served to strengthen the bonds between the students in the group and presented opportunities to engage meaningfully with local culture and history.


We have collected evidence and data throughout the project in a range of ways.

We have also created an open culture for students to provide feedback and make suggestions, including changes they would like to see.

We have ensured our methods of evaluation are inclusive and have provided people with the opportunity to provide feedback in their native language as well as English.

From a focus session (where 10 students who regularly attended our Govan classes and took part in a range of our socially integrated opportunities gave feedback) we captured the following data.

We asked people ( before and after the project began and ended) how much they agreed with the following statements ( on a scale of 1 – 5)

“I am good at speaking English”

“I have friends”

“I feel like I have community”

“I know museums and places to visit in Glasgow”

“I feel Confident with English Grammar and Vocabulary”

“I know Scottish people I can use a computer to help me learn English”

“I know places in Govan to do activities”

Across the board we saw increases in people agreeing with these statements.

For example we saw the average response in relation to confidence in speaking English rise from 2.8 to 4.6.

We saw a similar increase in relation to having friends as this rose from 2.6 at the beginning to 4.4.

The biggest change was in relation to grammar and vocabulary where people went from ( on average across learners) a 2 to 4.6.

In relation to knowing museums and places to visit the change was significant growing from 2.4 to 4.8 by the end of the project.

In relation to using a computer to learn the average response went from 1.2 to 3.4 and in terms of knowing places in Govan in particular it changed from 1.8 to 4.4

We see from this data sample that the project had a range of benefits for people and that as well as learning English and growing in confidence people also gained community, friends and knowledge of new places in Glasgow. Beyond this we have also received lots of qualitative feedback.

Here is some of the direct feedback we have received.

“I wanted to tell you that after having been on the waiting list for quite some time, I have been accepted into the College, and they let me know these last few days, so I am starting classes this week, and I will not be able to continue with your lovely classes. I just want to thank you for the opportunity you gave me!”

“Thank you for the work you do with people like us, to help us integrate and socialise, which is so important for life. Greetings, I hope to hear from you! Thanks a lot!“ (translated)

“I thank you very much for having you along with me to help me when I don’t understand. I’m glad you know Vietnamese to talk to me.”

I am happiest when I am in English class”

“I have compared our class with others and I am happy with this class- I really love our group.”

Challenges encountered

Some regularly attending students dropped out (due to personal reasons/health problems/moving away from Glasgow/studying elsewhere e.g. college).

We also had students who had dropped out then returned to class. This was an indicator that they really benefited from coming to class and that they wanted to reach out again when their personal circumstances had improved

Student attendance turned out to be cyclical. We had a summer cohort of students and then a new core group emerged from September- November.

We have some students like M from Greece who have attended regularly from the first class- and you can see a drastic improvement in her language skills and self-confidence.


We aimed to remove some barriers where possible with support to access IT devices, child care and travel support.

Access and Reaching People We also carried out a number of activities to ensure that people knew about our new classes and the range of opportunities the New Scots funding allowed as well as activities to support people to access them.

Interpretation Serves -15 minute phone call with student using a Kurdish Sorani interpreter -Excursion information translated into multiple languages

-Photo consent forms translated

-First bus app video translated into different languages

-Device loan agreement form translated

We advertised our sessions widely, including on our social media outlets. We also proactively promoted ESOL directly to our community at a range of events and via other services.

For example, we hosted an information stall at our GCP Family Activity Day at Kinning Park Complex). A number of our students were signposted via our GCP services.(e.g. Men’s Group/Women’s Group/Community Drop-in). Creche

We were able to provide a creche service to give students with young children the chance to learn without distraction. Initially conducted in a separate room, we finally rested on the solution of setting the creche up in the same space as the ESOL class.

Through trialling different approaches we found that this was the most adequate set-up, as children were able to see their parents, reducing any anxiety of being separated from them.

We had positive feedback from parents who were happy at the prospect of being able to learn without the stress of caring for their children at the same time. The childcare staff developed good relationships with children and parents.

This was the first time a professional creche service had been used for ESOL at GCP, and going forward we now have a system in place to offer childcare in the future.

Devices and IT Support

With our budget, thanks to a discount provided by our provider, we were able to purchase 7 devices.

We carried out an IT survey and all 7 devices were then utilised by regular attenders who had no access to a device. We were also recently successful in our recent application to the CLD Device Fund and will now be able to provide all learners with a laptop during ESOL classes ( especially useful for IT sessions).


The collective actions serve as an opportunity to reflect our practice in the language skills the learners will have developed throughout the sessions. They provided learners with a sense of autonomy and to collaborate together in order to choose what these actions would be. Community meals  are one way to encourage collaboration as learners are able to share recipes and decide together what to make.

Project Partners