The Council of Europe Toolkit for volunteers and others providing language support for refugees and asylum seekers

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The Council of Europe Toolkit, a web resource in seven languages with 57 practical tools that can be used to raise the awareness of volunteers and help them to prepare and deliver language support, was launched at a conference in Strasbourg in November 2017. It is freely available for use and can be found here.

In a recent project initiative, the Council of Europe has limited funding available for 14 organisations in 8 countries to be able to carry out activities to inform relevant stakeholders about the contents and usefulness of the Toolkit. One of the organisations is Learning Unlimited, based in London. In September Karen Dudley, Director of Learning Unlimited, and Richard Rossner, Eaquals, ran three events in Scotland, co-funded by Eaquals. The events in Ayr, Cumbernauld and Glasgow were attended by people involved in providing language support and literacy training to adult migrants, including volunteers, tutors of English to speakers of other languages (ESOL), and coordinators, among them regional coordinators of the Syrian refugee resettlement programme from across the UK. The orientation included a virtual tour of the Toolkit website, opportunities to try out certain tools, and discussion of volunteer orientation and training.

In a related initiative, Richard Rossner and Lorenzo Rocca, both members of the Coordinating Group of the Council of Europe’s ‘Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants’ (LIAM) project responsible for developing the Toolkit, were asked to lead a Council of Europe webinar on the Toolkit for the 14 organisations contracted to carry out dissemination activities. This was recorded and the link will be made available to those interested in finding out more about the Toolkit.