Free English lessons to promote social cohesion

English language school awarded funding to promote social cohesion through free English lessons

English4All in Leeds (E4A), a new English language school, is breaking down barriers by providing free, no-strings education and social integration opportunities to local speakers of other languages.

The voluntary led organisation which relies on qualified and experienced teaching volunteers has received a Leeds Fund #GiveLoveLeeds Grant to pay for classroom hire and other expenses incurred in providing free English classes. Managed by Leeds Community Foundation, The Leeds Fund creates positive change in the communities of Leeds that need it most by distributing financial grants and support to community projects across the city.

E4A’s free, weekly English classes at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels take place every Saturday at LCI on Central Road in Leeds city centre. The group also organises social and sports events where students are encouraged to practice their English in a more relaxed setting.

E4A has seen more than 200 students from 47 countries pass through its doors since opening in October 2016. Nearly 1,000 student visits, over 100 hours of free classes, and 1,000s of hours of volunteers’ time have already been provided. Over 350 volunteers have applied to help E4A make Leeds a friendlier place for new arrivals, and to provide high-quality ESOL teaching at absolutely no cost to students.

E4A Secretary, Steph MacWilliam, said:

“Poor English skills are a barrier to employment, education and training opportunities, often leading to isolation, disillusionment, poverty and crime. Recent increases in hate crime may only worsen people’s ability and inclination to integrate into Leeds society.

“Our free English classes provide a safe and friendly learning space. Volunteers and funding are absolutely vital to enable us to deliver our free English classes. We are delighted to have received a Leeds Fund #GiveLoveLeeds Grant.”

E4A provides an inclusive, welcoming environment where students can receive free English classes and meet new people every week. The group also organises a range of social and sporting activities to encourage students and volunteers to socialise together – and help students improve their conversational English. Activities include coffee sessions, pub nights-out, 5-a-side football and a monthly Book Club, highlighting great British writers.  The group aims to expand the number of classes and social activities it organises as it grows.

Yolanta, a student representative on E4A’s Governing Body, said:

“The classes and social activities add self-confidence, because of the skills I’ve gained and the friends I’ve made. E4A has helped me feel part of the community”

To find out more about E4A or for details on how to volunteer visit:

For more information email or call Nick on 07850 307 706.


This was was written using our Create an article for South Leeds Life page.