We are migrants who came to the UK a while ago. We liked this country and wanted to live, to study and to work here. We have gone through all pitfalls of settlement on a new land, have learned English and worked hard to find our own place on this welcoming, strong and reserved country. We remember our first months, when we struggled in understanding public systems and process of searching employment.
It ‘s great if you came to this country with some knowledge of English. You are very lucky, if you quickly found a JOB and managed to keep it for long.
However, your accent and a low confidence will always “sell you out” as a migrant. And this might prevent you to choose a job for which you have enough skills and experience. The problem is one – lack of English and not enough knowledge how British public systems work.
We all went through that and we want to share our knowledge with you. Our difference is that we provide services, information, support and advocacy for your benefits and on your native language. We want that you feel included in the mainstream of existing services and language was not a barrier for you. We will do our best to help you.
Our work includes
- Providing high quality at low cost flexible services, that allow migrants to find their place in the UK as quick as possible and in a place they choose
- Providing advice and information through our website and Facebook
- Giving the opportunity to learn about life in the UK with language support.
- We communicate with clients from Central and Eastern Europe, living in the UK on Russian and Latvian languages and we have volunteers, helping us to talk on most of Eastern European languages.
- If we cannot help to our clients, we will find someone who can.
2007, December – the first social event of Midland Lithuanian group celebrated Eastern European Dance competition in city centre Dance Club.
Friends from Lithuania and Russia gathered together to find out who is the best dancer and enjoyed lovely atmosphere, drink and ethnic and modern dances. We had a such good time, that Aldona decided to continue these meetings and launched social club in Wolverhampton
2009 – Grassroot Grant Program for community development of ethnic minorities
With assistance of Wolverhampton Network Consortium we organised Information drop-in centre and provided information about NHS, Housing, Financial and Social Support on native Eastern European languages, included Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Poland and Russian. The project employed two sessional Advisers who provided qualified advices.
2010 – Engaging Eastern Europeans across the Black Country.
Under Community Development for ethnic minorities project of Black Country Consortium we organised ESOL non-accredited courses in Lichfield, Walsall and Wolverhampton for non-English speakers from Eastern Europe. Courses lasted 12 weeks and this activity received very good feedback from students, who became able to communicate on English. Total 250 people attended courses.
Additionally were organised learning activities with non-accredited courses where we provided basic skills for life and trainings in Food Hygiene, Health and Safety, Confidence building, CV writing, employability support.
2010 – Young in Heart – Active Life Fund for Older People in ethnic minorities
For this project in the Friends’ meeting House in Wolverhampton, Walsall and in Birmingham we opened libraries for Lithuanian and Russian speaking people, where they could read magazines, newspapers and books on their native language. Totally subscribed for using libraries over 350 people.
This project has finished in 2010, however people are still enjoying using these facilities and borrowing books, also encouraging their English partners to learn Russian language.
2011 – Sport England
Were delivered free NVQ level 2 courses in Activity Sport Leadership qualification in Basketball, Tennis, Rugby, Netball, Badminton, Football, Gym and Fitness. In Walsall, Wolverhampton and Birmingham were organised sport Basketball, Tennis and Chess clubs, which still continue its activities.
Totally over 350 people, including women and young people attending these clubs and they have become an independent community groups.
2012 – Sport Relief funds
In organised basketball club we provided regular coaching and bought sport kits for women and children.
We hired professional basketball coacher, who worked with children and prepared them for competitions
2012 – Grassroot Grant Program for community development of ethnic minorities
Was opened a Saturday Children School for Lithuanian children. While children were on the lessons we provided employability support for their parents, delivering one-to-one information about CV, Covering Letters, Job interviews, and providing counselling sessions for people who doesn’t understand English on their native languages.
2012 – Lithuanian Community in the West Midlands after the Second World War (1947-2012).
Funded by Heritage funds, in 2011 Aldona provided research and wrote the book about developing Lithuanian community in the West Midlands since war times. She interviewed over 70 people, researched archive in Lithuania and the UK and wrote interesting book on two languages – Lithuanian and English.
Book received a good response from local communities and was re-published in Lithuania in 2013
In 2013 Emconet participated in the STEP project, delivering Soft Skills program, aimed at young people of 16-25, who were not in employment, economically inactive or working less than 8 hours per week. The project included organising courses in confidence building, developing communication skills, finding suitable employment and preparing for a job interview, training or educational courses.