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Inside TWCP: Pierre’s Story

My name is Pierre Epoh Moudio and I am a British Citizen but I am originally from Cameroon. I moved to the ward in 2014, and am a resident steering group member of Thames Ward Community Project (TWCP). I work as a Senior ESOL Lecturer at Barking and Dagenham College and have more than 16 years’ experience working with immigrants who need to improve their English in order to improve the quality of their lives, to get into employment and fully integrate in the new country they live in.

Why ESOL (English for Speakers of Other languages)? Teaching ESOL has always been my childhood dream and I am passionate about languages. English is actually my third language. When I arrived in the UK, I struggled to find work, make new friends in a new country and I didn’t know how things operated in the UK work environment. It was frustrating and I felt depressed. I went from one setback to another and wanted to give up. Later, I was asked to retrain and get a new qualification to meet UK standards but after doing so I got no positive reply from employers because I had no UK work experience. Luckily through voluntary work, I gained the necessary experience, made new friends, widened my network, got support from various people and organisations and successfully got my first permanent job as an ESOL Lecturer.

To give back to the community that did so much for me, I decided to set up a project that would help immigrants to work on their language and employability skills, get some work experience that will enable them whilst looking for work to compete on equal footing with the locals and make a positive contribution to their community. TWCP played a key role in the setting up of the ESOL for Parents project as I spoke to several organisations about my idea but none of them thought it was a good idea but TWCP did. They provided me with all the support I needed from applying for funding, monthly one to one check in meetings, to all the logistics. Thanks a million and this could not have happened without you. To date I have run several successful projects that have impacted not only the local residents but also residents from other boroughs. We also won two awards one from the Rotary International- Stratford branch and the other from Barking and Dagenham Faith Forum. The award was for improving access to services.

Most of the people I work with are frustrated, lack confidence and are hopeless because they have lots of skills that could benefit the UK but are not used due to poor guidance and support. My plan for the future is to work closely with local employers and get them to offer support by offering work placements to my students which will give them that vital UK work experience needed by most employers and in return boost their confidence and enable them to aim higher.

Pierre Epoh Moudio 

Sports for Development support via BS4C Covid Response Fund

TWCP have recently been awarded £5,000 from the Covid Response Fund from the Barking Sports for Change Coalition (part of the Model City London initiative supported by the GLA, Laureus Sport and the Nike Foundation) to help support local groups we are working with to achieve their Sports for Development goals. As part of its initial BS4C grant TWCP enabled a number of local groups to engage in introductory workshops with Jason McKoy, a Sports Consultant and founder of Mercurial Sports, who helped introduce the concept of sports for development and offer some constructive ideas on how to incorporate this approach into the work they are doing in the community. 
Receiving this Covid response fund allows TWCP to fund a more sustained piece of engagement between Jason and two of the most active groups he engaged with earlier on in the process, Mum’s on a Mission and Creative Wellness (led by local residents Vanessa Raimundo and Khushnood Ahmed respectively). Each organisation has shown real dedication both to the community in which they live and serve as well as to the principles of Sports for Development and their desire to continue to improve their practice and strengthen their organisations to help better support the people of Thames Ward and the wider Barking and Dagenham area and over the coming months Jason will spend more time supporting and guiding each organisation on how to embed Sports for Development principles into their everyday practice. 

Sports for Development is an overused and sometimes misunderstood concept. It is the difference between sport for sporting outcomes such as fitness, competition or enjoyment, for example. Or using the sporting activity not only for these points, but to actively and in a clear and structured way, help develop other aspects of the participants taking part. This can be from raising awareness on a topic to improving training and employment opportunities. One of the biggest challenges for new and developing projects is knowing how to capture and demonstrate the impact of the work being done with the participants taking part. Supporting TWCP and the projects that are developing in the area, will ensure that these projects make the most of the great work they are doing, and can demonstrate this to wider stakeholders. This can help open other avenues to them including funding which can of course help with sustainability. Helping projects understand just how impactful their work is, is something often overlooked and taken for granted. There are so many ‘Sport for Development’ projects that on closer scrutiny are actually just doing ‘sport’, with little actual ‘Development’ work at all.

Photo credit: Mums on a Mission

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