FUN English



This was a 10-week programme funded by English PEN. This is the second programme following on from the national Big Writing in a Small World project which took place in

Fun English consisted of two hourly workshops per each Tuesday for 10 weeks. Fooad – “I am St Chad’s on Tuesday mornings, when I come to study with a smile on my face.’
2012 and led to the publication of booklet of the poems and creative writing produced by participants on the programme.

Participants came from a variety of countries including Algeria, India, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Palestine and Sudan, with ages ranging from early 20s to 60s. (I’m guessing here)

Themes running throughout the workshops were those of ‘identity’ and ‘memories’, using hands as a recurring ‘motif’.  They wrote about traditional stories passed down within the family, traditions, who they believe themselves to be, the food, colours and memories of their home countries, and much more. Hands

We started with simple hand poetry – here are lines from two such poems:

‘I am the cold of England and the sun of Palestine’.

“I am the voice of Edit Piaf’.

We also wrote poems based on the senses and got lines like:

‘The sound of silence is like a snowy night, illuminated.

If I hold silence, I feel soft, magic tenderness’ (Adil)


Participants shared as much or as little as they wanted to in their writing and in group work.  They were asked to explore writing in a creative manner, and in a very different way to their experience of writing in English to date. Initially, this was difficult for some participants who were used to a more functional approach to English writing. However, they threw themselves into the task and our Fun English Family was born. Participants allowed themselves to experiment with English, which led to the creation of some beautiful poetry and prose, full or imagery and heartfelt passion.Hands

As one student said ‘we’re like a family’ and we are. St Chad’s Sanctuary gave us the space to become that family.



To mark the end of our recent FUN English class 2012 we had a Celebration Event and Book Launch

Our FUN English project was funded by the Near Neighbourhood Fund and enabled a g

st.chad's sanctuary

roup of our students to go on a trip and produce both photographic

st.chad's sanctuary

and written work, which was exhibited and performed on the day.  Our Secret Millionaire Aria also attended!!!

st.chad's sanctuaryst.chad's sanctuary

st.chad's sanctuary

The previous project was facilitated by English PEN which was founded in London in 1921 to promote literature as a means of greater understanding between cultures. Now it has centres in more than 100 countries.  That project, funded by the  European Commission, was called  ‘Big Writing For A Small World’.  We launched the book at this event as well.

On this page we will be featuring some of the writing which was produced in our ‘Fun English’ class.

st.chad's sanctuary

I am…

I am my needs that make me feel happy

I am the English language that makes everything bright

I am my family that I miss

I am my sister that I need to see

I am loneliness that makes me think too much

I am all the people who make me feel better

I am the travel that will make my life open

I am who I am which is why I am in England

Ali Sisse March 2012

st chad's sanctuary

Shakespeare in his play ,King Richard the Third, wrote ;

‘ Go thou to sanctuary, and good thoughts possess thee !’

St. Chad’s Sanctuary

A smiling face came, opening the door for me

Another smiling face at the counter, offered me a cup of tea

The reception room was filled with amazing company

On the wall ‘ we were asylum seekers in an old century’.

A sense of peace and tranquillity thrilled me, I am carefree.

Sister Walsh, Emma , and others are devoted to charity.

Their sincere help  and compassion is a shining moon

In the dark times of asylum seeker’s frustrations and anxiety .

Mahmood Alnaimy

March , 2012


The identity that embraces us all

Thou we differ in things that matter

The blue planet holds us like a mother

And the sun gives life to all

Humanity identifies this unique race

Scattered in nations all over the place

In peace, or fighting, settled or dispersed

Those suffering hope for an escape

Earth keeps us linked despite distances

Under the banner of Homo sapiens

We are all alike and live in communities

Though many are scarred from atrocities

The wonderful Sun sends its bright light

To the blue planet drapping it in warmth

Human beings of all nations have their share

Of the gifts and care of Sun and Earth

The Sun and Earth are just in giving

Their gifts are to all earth inhabitants

Thou greed and selfishness set them

In a race of Loosers and Winners

It is peace and human rights

That every human being seeks

Then let us hope and pray together

That our conflicts come to an end

Mahmood Alnaimy

February 2012

The Tree

It is a happy feeling to see

In the garden a flowering tree

The white small scented flowers

Makes the tree a snowy tower

The beauty of the garden moved the poet

He sung his song with robin in duet

But day after day the flowers wither

Like a homeless man in stormy winter

The summer feast of pigeon and robin

Is coming to an end, again and again

The seasons recur steadily since long

Homer’s triumphant hero, Odysseus song

Mahmood Alnaimy

February  2012

Passed away 

The old nice lady

Next door,

Passed away in late evening

Her only daughter is left alone

The daughter sat in her chair

Staring through the empty room

The memories of the past years

Hang around in  mournful gloom.

Strange ghosts of coming days

Try to fill the silent soul

Who will fill the emptiness

Left after the cold death call

The coffin laid in the crematorium

Now the old lady is left alone

Who will be with her in the

Journey into the maze of the unknown

Now the old lady is gone

She will not have a sign of cold stone.

Mahmood  Alnaimy   –  December 2010


One thought on “FUN English

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s