Xenia brings together women learning English and fluent English-speaking women in Hackney (London), to improve language and communication skills and create connections across perceived divides of immigration/citizenship status, culture, ethnicity, language, age and identity.

Weekly drop-in workshops take place at the Hackney Museum, working with other local community partners for delivery of a range of activities that are participatory and participant-led. The workshops are facilitated using an inclusive model that encourages everyone’s voice to be heard equally, and activities are structured around engaging themes that provide space for discussions in small groups, building confidence and connection. Informal childcare is available to make workshops accessible for women with young children.

Evaluation has shown that migrant women who regularly attend Xenia feel more confident speaking English, have improved language skills, and use English more in their daily lives. Xenia creates a strong sense of community and reduces isolation amongst both migrant and British women in the local community. Xenia works in partnership with ESOL providers and other statutory and voluntary sector organisations to reach women and promote joined up approaches.

Xenia has been featured as an example of best practise by the British Academy, The Council of Europe, and UN Women.

To find out more about Xenia, visit: https://xenia.org.uk