I recently started volunteering at the Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project (BUCFP) where I support the free English class on Tuesdays from 12-1pm, but I have been going there for some years for all sorts of things: to meet friends for lunch, paint placards for a demo or for a yoga class. What I most enjoy there is the wide mix of people and the welcoming vibe. A friendly chat is never too far away. The centre offers support, education and advice and a range of other things to the unemployed and those in poor living conditions, benefit claimants, the unwaged, pensioners, families, people on low incomes and migrants. It has a wholefood coop selling low cost organic food and toiletries.
Every weekday at 1pm a healthy vegan lunch is served, costing 60p for a small portion and £1.50 for a large. The big communal room serves as a meeting place for campaign groups and friends, or to just sit there with a cup of tea, doing your own thing. There is a rail with free clothing and a childrens’ corner. BUCFP also has its own very productive and abundant allotment in East Brighton on Walpole Road. Every Monday afternoon volunteers gather there, doing gardening, learning and socialising and you get to take home some delicious, freshly picked vegetables, fruits and herbs. Considering that Brighton is an expensive place in many ways, it’s vital to have such a non-commercial non-discriminating space available for people who are otherwise often excluded.
Currently the BUCFP runs five English classes at different levels:
11:00 am – 12:00 pm ESOL Intermediate/Pre-Intermediate
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ESOL Intermediate/Pre-Intermediate
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ESOL Intermediate
10.30 am – 12:00 pm ESOL Beginners
11:00 am – 1:00 pm ESOL Conversational
For anyone interested in learning or improving English, the best thing would be to come to the centre and see which class best meets your needs. BUCFP is on Tilbury Place, just behind the new Amex building.