Members of the public are being urged to get behind a funding campaign for an organisation which helps refugees and asylum seekers to integrate into the community.
Sharrow-based Learn for Life Enterprise helps people new to the area by teaching them English and other educational classes such as maths, music and arts and crafts.
It has now been shortlisted as a finalist in the Marks & Spencer Energy Community Fund, which will hand out two national awards of £40,000 and £20,000, regional funding awards for projects that require a maximum of £12,500 and a judges’ prize of £15,000 for the most innovative project.
Who gets the money is decided by a public vote and project leaders are now urging members of the public to support their campaign to get enough funding to buy solar panels for their learning centre roof.
Director Gill Rhodes said: “We strongly believe that for someone to integrate into the country they are living in, they have a basic human right to learn the language. Therefore we offer English classes to all.
“We welcome all people in need and support and assist them with the challenges they face when first arriving in the UK.”
Fellow director Hayley Nelson said: “The project is really important because it will allow us to become more energy efficient and reduce energy costs.
“In turn the crowd-funding will be essential to improve and renovate our building.
“We have over 300 people coming in and out of Learn for Life each week and, as a result, items become well-used and need replacing.”
Centre student Medhanie Andemichael, aged 25, said: “Learn for Life is a good school and college.
“It is like my home because when I came here all the people were friendly like a mother, father, brother and sister.”
Cast your vote by October 10 by visiting https://www.mandsenergyfund.com/projects/learn-for-life-enterprise