Migrants and refugees living in West Essex are receiving increased support to help improve their English language skills and integrate into their local communities, thanks to the assistance of a charity.

Integration Support Services (ISS) was founded in 2005 by a group of refugees and migrants and has recently received £20,000 from the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF), to run a series of English as a Second Language (ESOL) classes online.

Their work focuses on supporting the successful integration of migrants, refugees, ethnic minority communities and groups in Essex and Hertfordshire.

They also provide employment advice, help with filling out forms, and family and one-to-one drop-in sessions.

Sangita Mittra, chief executive of ISS, said: “Many of our clients speak very limited English and are unable to access mainstream services or take part in their new local community due to language barriers.

“The classes improve our learners' understanding of both written and verbal English, helping them to advocate, integrate, and gain paid employment for themselves, without needing to rely on interpreters, whilst reducing the need for public assistance.

“We also offer advice and guidance on a range of topics and with our current staff and volunteer capacity we can provide multi-lingual support for up to 15 languages.”

If you are a client and require help with any issues relating to integration, call ISS on 01279 639442.

If your local voluntary organisation is in need of funding to support your work, contact ECF on 01245 356018 or visit www.essexcommunityfoundation.org.uk for more information.