The UK has an ever-growing migrant population. The number of people seeking asylum here increased by 63% between 2011 and 2015 and 2015 alone the UK received over 30,000 asylum applications from countries where English is not an official language.

However, proficiency in English is a vital tool for navigating everyday life in the UK. Without a secure knowledge of English even simple everyday tasks can become a struggle, and research has shown that migrant women often face greater barriers to accessing English classes than migrant men.

A report recently published by the Wonder Foundation recommends providing single-sex provision as well as ’empowering community spaces where women feel welcome and safe’ as steps to breaking down some of these barriers and that ‘befriending of migrant English learners by nationals and well established migrants should also be encouraged and funded at a local and national level’.

At, Xenia we are providing a much-needed safe space for women of all backgrounds to support and befriend each other.