“I am pretty confident talking in English – my speaking is not bad. But I need to get better at writing and that is one of the things that Nova has helped me with. Before the end of lessons we use the computers to write a report on what we have been doing – I am using English and computers at the same time! I also like the atmosphere here. You find a mix of people from all different backgrounds but you feel like you are part of a family. I really like the trips and parties that Nova organises. And we help each other in class and outside.
I tell people to come to Nova, specially people who are beginners. It gives them more advantages than other colleges because everyone can get confidence here. They help with writing CVs and looking for jobs. The people at Nova really know this community and they listen.”
“I missed out on my early education the first time round. I have always been eager to learn and I started coming to Nova last year because I wanted to catch up on what I had missed out. Everyone at Nova is very respectful and the staff treat us all equally. I’ve made friends here and I want to continue for as long as I can. I feel much more confident in speaking and talking to people. I now feel more confident to do what I want.
I tell people to come to Nova. I tell them not to rely on their children to help them do things like writing letters. ‘Don’t wait for your children to grow up and help you,’ I say. ‘Come to Nova so you can have your own skills.’”
“Some doctors, when they get sick, aren’t very good at treating themselves. I was the same. Even though I had been a personal adviser I didn’t know how to help myself deal with my problems at work and at home. I wasn’t looking outside the box. I wasn’t seeing myself as sick. I only wanted to help my mother and I couldn’t see how that was making me ill. Now I can empathise with people who come to Nova who are in a similar situation”.
Pamella Campbell – Volunteer ESOL tutor
“Being able to get teaching experience in a situation where I have been hands on has been invaluable. I felt very comfortable at Nova as a volunteer. Nova has an inclusive but relaxed atmosphere. It is not a hierarchical organisation. The students are diverse and people mix easily. I had a really supportive mentor and his guidance helped me to develop my teaching skills. This has been a really positive experience and it has enabled me to go on to study for my diploma-level teaching qualification.”
“I am pretty much multitasking at Nova. I started as a receptionist but now I am doing admin work and interpreting for Spanish speakers. I like to be where I am most needed. I want to do something useful and put something back. Nova has given me the flexibility I need. I have the chance to be proactive at Nova and to take more responsibility, which I like. Nova cares about equal opportunities for people regardless of their background. Volunteering here has provided me with structure in my life and it has had a positive impact on my self-esteem. Most of all Nova is a very friendly environment. There is room for humour here and that makes it a nice atmosphere.”