Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Gurkha women enjoy visit to town

Gurkha women enjoy visit to town

MEMBERS of the SSAFA Reading Gurkha Ladies Project visited Henley.

The women are wives or widows of retired Gurkha servicemen and arrived nearly eight years ago when they were allowed indefinite leave to remain in the UK following a campagn led by actress Joanna Lumley

When they arrived the women found life difficult. Most were unable to speak English and had not had any form of education or experience of the written word.

The project was set up to help them settle in their new home. Seven years later, it is flourishing with around 120 women attending weekly lessons.

They are taught in groups by 35 volunteers and many of them can now write fluently.

Their visit to Henley was part of a programme designed to integratethem into life in the UK. They have also visited Portsmouth, Windsor, Hampton Court and Winchester, increasing their confidence and knowledge.

They arrived in Henley by boat and were tasked with an “I Spy” exercise on the voyage to help them recognise birds and trees.

They visited the River & Rowing Museum and liked the Wind in the Willows exhibition which they had learned about in class. Several tried the rowing machine.

They also took part in a map reading exercise to find their way around Henley before locating the bus stop and going home on the bus.

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