A group of volunteer teachers have been trained up to teach basic English to people in East Lancashire who have very little language skills.

Lancashire Adult Learning has taken on more than 50 volunteers from across the county to help deliver the Integrated Communities English Language Programme, thanks to cash from a new government fund.

The volunteers will help around 370 people in Accrington, Burnley and Pendle to learn the basics of English through classes led in a number of community venues.

The aim of the initiative is to enable them to integrate into life in England and help them on to more formal education so they are able to contribute to the economy in the long term.

Zaheer Majid, 44, from Nelson, is one of the latest volunteer teachers recruited.

He said: "I started a Teaching English as a Foreign Language qualification online and when I heard about this project with Lancashire Adult Learning, I really wanted to get involved with it because it is helping put the theory I am learning through my course into practice in the classroom.

"I’ve found the course with LAL very interesting. I’m looking forward to getting started as I’m keen to support the people living in Nelson who are struggling with their English to help them communicate better and improve their lives on a day to day basis."

The new programme started on April 1, and builds on the success of existing community-based English language programmes, that have helped support 450 learners across Lancashire in the last two years.

Head of Curriculum at Lancashire Adult Learning, Andrea Cowton, said: "I’m delighted that Lancashire Adult Learning is once again able to support people who live in our communities who have very little or no English skills and quite often have no experience of learning either.

"Through LAL’s outstanding network of community contacts across Lancashire, our numbers have more than doubled from two years ago, highlighting that the need for this is greater than ever."

Anyone wanting more information on the initiative, whether in a learner or volunteer capacity should contact Andrea Cowton at a.cowton@lal.ac.uk.