A group which strives to give a voice to migrants living in the Falkirk area is now trying to boost their confidence too.
The Forth Valley Migrant Support Network will be holding a free introduction to its “Confident Citizen” class in Rosebank Hall, Camelon Education Centre, Abercrombie Street, Camelon, on Tuesday, February 5, at 6.30 p.m.
The confidence coaching aims to help people give a good first impression of themselves, overcome nerves and self-doubt and boost self-esteem and self-belief.
Alan Gray, support network founder, said: “Although there are a lot of English language courses throughout the area, there are a lot of people who don’t have the confidence to speak the language in everyday life.
“Confidence building can make learning a language a lot easier and help people make new friends and get jobs. It will give them the tools to present themselves better - things like posture and body language - and also give them more motivation.
“Some people think migrant workers have an easy ride when they come to this country, but they don’t. The Confident Citizen course is not just for foreign nationals - there are a lot of people who don’t speak out enough on issues affecting them because they simply don’t have the confidence.”
Support network member Stanislav Gray added: “Some of the people we help here even find using the telephone difficult. For instance 95 per cent of migrant workers would not know to dial 999 to get the police.
“It’s things we take for granted - but if you were in a foreign country would you know how to contact the police?”
The support network was established in 2009 to help migrant workers from Eastern European countries and people whose first language is not English.
Formerly based in Falkirk, the group moved to premises in Newhouse Business Park, Newhouse Road, Grangemouth, last June and has never been busier.
Boasting 200 followers on Facebook, the support network knows how important internet-based social network sites are to the migrant population. To this end the group has taken it upon itself to film a short advert for its confidence course which it will post on its Facebook page and website.
The Confident Citizen initiative has the full backing of Falkirk Council.
Frank McChord, of the council’s community planning and development service, said: “This course is all about communities learning and developing and we are happy to support it. We see it as a way forward for a lot of residents in the Falkirk area.”
Diane Davis Bailey, a member of the support network, will be teaching the Confident Citizen course.
She said: “This will be a pilot session. Where we go from here will depend on the needs of the people who attend.”
Places on the course are limited so you can book now by calling (01324) 489990 or e-mail email@example.com for more information.
You can also visit www.fvmigrantsupport.com for general information about the support network.