Scheme will help ethnic women to settle

WELCOME ... women taking part in the LIPS project on a visit to South Shields.
WELCOME ... women taking part in the LIPS project on a visit to South Shields.

A NEW scheme to help women from ethnic minorities settle into life in South Tyneside is being launched.

The project, called Ladies Integration Programme of Support (LIPS), will begin across the borough from next month.

A cooking class.

A cooking class.

Previously known as the Tyneside Orientation and Migrant Support Service, it offers a variety of activities, courses and classes to help ethnic minority women ease into British society.

Project support worker Eleni Venaki, said the scheme, which has been renamed after securing funding from the European Integration Fund, has proven success.

Since it began two years ago in Newcastle, LIPS has helped more than 170 women from 19 nationalities integrate into society.

Eleni said: “From the feedback we have had I can confidently say that we are making a difference. It’s great that we have been given the funding to keep going for another year.

“If we are successful this year, we may be able to secure funding for another five years.”

LIPS, run by Jobs, Education and Training (JET), offers a variety of classes, accredited courses, trips and activities from women to take part in.

These include visits to museums, language classes and pairing up with other organisations, such as Badminton UK.

Tyneside Badminton arranged for women to attend single-sex classes after a number of the project’s members showed an interest in the sport.

Eleni added: “They took into account some cultural issues which allowed the women to take part in classes.

“We are focusing on things which help the women with integration. It is a really broad range of things.”

LIPS’ base in South Shields will be located in Fowler Street, in the former South Tyneside TEN centre.

It will launch the South Tyneside service with a family fun day at Ocean Road Community Association, on Saturday from 10.30am to 2.30pm.

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull