Stories of our MESH service users

This year, TDC partnered with Friends Centre and Voices in Exile to deliver the Migrant ESOL Support Hub (known as MESH) – a service supporting migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

The programme involves working with people one-to-one, focusing on access to ESOL learning plus signposting and referral to other support services and volunteer opportunities across Brighton and Hove. Cicely Lloyd is our worker on this project and told us some of the highlights of her work this year: 

“A very recent MESH highlight was supporting a Syrian refugee and her family to run a delicious felafel stall at the Patch Winter Warmer, a community event in William Clarke Park. It was a great success, as is her academic progress: she’s now on her Art Foundation at MET, and planning to do an Interior Architecture degree.
I am also proud of work done with a blind Bulgarian 17 year old MESH client. Local colleges were unable to offer ESOL provision and so she came to TDC. She now attends Look Sussex Youth Club, Amaze Young Women’s  Group, and Hummingbird’s Global Social Club and Homework Club, and is making great progress with her English and other skills. She is receiving Braille, independent living and technology training from BHCC SEN team and Blatchington Court Trust. We are working together to ensure that she will be able to study English in a college with sighted young people as soon as possible.” 

When Cicely asked service users themselves, we had a selection of heartwarming feedback: 

  • “Hi, I’m a client of Cicely. I am very happy and thankful to MESH especially Cicely for helping me in many important things such as learning English at the best institutes in Brighton and some volunteering which helped me to get involved in a respectable English society. Best regards” Syrian Asylum Seeking MESH Client
  • “I am happy for the help, I am a busy mum and Cicely helped me to found a English courses, I am taking at the moment.”  Peruvian MESH Client
  • Dear Cicely, Thank you very much for everything you have done for me. You have helped me find my way and develop my skills. You have introduced me to an association to support my blind daughter. I hope that we will keep in touch and that I can be with you to find a better chance in life for me and my family. Best wishes for the new year.”   Jordanian MESH Client
  • “I am completely satisfied with the performance of the MESH”   Iranian Asylum Seeking MESH Client
  • I would like to thank the MESH team, which works daily to help immigrants get into Brighton, especially Cicely, who with dedication and vocation has been able to provide and help me in every situation that I have needed.” Argentinian MESH Client 

One Egyptian Asylum seeker told us “I like it Cicely and thank you so much. Lovely. I’m very happy for the group and any way to speak English and helping me for English. I love this very much, very nice. Thank you so much.” The services and activities that the Egyptian Asylum Seeker has accessed via MESH include:

  • Attended Migrant Welcome Project at Voice In Exile
  • Received training from Community Works in using their online service
  • Volunteering at Rock Farm with One Church
  • Attending PTSD Support Group at Refugee Radio
  • Accessing Migrant English Project at Cowley Club
  • Accessing Real Junk Food Project lunches

This client was already a MET ESOL student and heard about our service through our visits to the college.

A MESH client enjoying a festive workshop at One Church’s Rock Farm which Cicely supported her to attend.

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