Refugees and asylum seekers in Norwich celebrate adult education success

Lord Mayor of Norwich Martin Schmierer congratulates Rachel Mbuyi on successfully completing an adul

Lord Mayor of Norwich Martin Schmierer congratulates Rachel Mbuyi on successfully completing an adult education course run by WEA. Pic: WEA. - Credit: WEA

Refugees, asylum seekers and European Union nationals who have sought new lives in Norwich have been celebrating after successfully completing adult education courses.

People from a huge range of countries, including Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kurdistan, Sri Lanka and Congo are among those who worked to complete courses in the community run by national charity WEA.

The WEA is working with Norwich organisation New Routes, which was the Lord Mayor of Norwich's civic charity last year, to run ESOL and maths courses for more than 70 students.

New Routes works with around 250 people per week and runs a variety of activities and courses for individuals, young people, children and families throughout the year.

And earlier this month, they held their annual celebration event, attended by the Lord Mayor of Norwich Martin Schmierer, where around 30 men and women received their completion certificates for functional skills maths courses run by the WEA.

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Ellie​ McKinlay‑Khojinian. WEA's education coordinator for Norfolk, said: 'For many of them, completion of this course marks their first encounter with formal adult education in the UK and can be a fantastic confidence boost and for some, a springboard onto further educational opportunities.

'Students were able to achieve their City & Guilds maths qualification during the course.

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'The WEA continues to work with New Routes, amidst the ever-changing funding landscape of adult education, to increase access to both accredited and non-accredited learning opportunities.

'In addition to WEA certification, many New Routes participant adults and young people, along with volunteer mentors were presented with certificates of engagement in New Routes' NCVO accredited Mentoring & Befriending Project, an initiative that matches people of different backgrounds and ethnicities for one-to-one integration and achievement support and cross-cultural understanding and friendship.

For more information or to support New Routes, visit and to find out more about the WEA visit or contact Ellie McKinlay-Khojinian at

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