logo Burngreave Messenger Issue 31 - May 2003

The Community Learning Campaigners

by Mark Lankshear

As this major New Deal initiative to raise people’s skills and job prospects gets underway (see Return to learn in Burngreave! in the New Deal pages), the Messenger introduces members of the team who will be out and about in Burngreave, recruiting new learners. This month we met Sarah Aref-Taha.

So what’s the Community Learning Campaign all about?
It’s about reaching out into the community and encouraging people to gain basic skills and improve their training, to help them get into better jobs. If anyone wants help finding a course they can give us a ring on
292 3160.

Why did you want to be a Learning Campaigner?
I’d worked as a secretary for three years, and felt trapped in a mundane job where I was treated badly. My only interaction was with a computer from 9–5 everyday. I wanted to work with people, to help them better themselves. I see the job as a stepping stone, I’d like to learn to teach English as a second language. I’m an Arabic speaker and I know how important English is.

How did you end up in Burngreave?
I came to England from Iraq in the 80s and lived in London for a long time. I married a Yorkshireman because I’d heard they were better than Londoners. My husband grew up in Sheffield and we moved here in February last year. His father had come here from the Yemen in the 50s to work in the steel industry.

So how’s the job going?
We only started three weeks ago, so we’re just getting to know the job and each other, but already I’ve got a new view on Burngreave. I’ve met lots of people I wouldn’t usually bump into, especially young men who’d I’d usually be a bit wary of. They’ve all been really friendly, it’s taught me a lot about people and helped take away my fears. Now I’m just keen to get out there and recruit new learners!

Burngreave Community Learning Campaign are located in Forum House on Spital Hill and can be contacted on 279 4960.

Visit their new website at http://learning.burngreave.net

Other Learning Capaigner interviews:

Issue 32, June 2003: Mick Twigg
Issue 34, September 2003: Brendan
Issue 35, October 2003: Imran Rafiq
Issue 36, November 2003: Steph Briddon
Issue 37, December 2003: Glenroy Powel


Sarah Aref-Taha
Sarah Aref-Taha – Community Learning Assistant for Burngreave Community Learning Campaign. Helping you find the course you need – contact: 292 3160.

Burngreave Community Learning Campaign logo.