Here you can discover success stories of individuals who have either volunteered or studied at ELSH and subsequently secured employment.

Joanne Dingle 


ELSH Volunteer Receptionist

“In 2006, after the birth of my second child, I took on a part-time evening cleaning job to be able to care for my children during the day. After several years in this role, I decided it was time for a change and sought a job with more hours. To enhance my qualifications, I began studying for my English and Maths GCSEs, which I had not completed at school.

During this period, I realised I had a keen interest in clerical work. I conducted some research online and discovered a volunteer position at ELSH, working on their reception desk. I visited ELSH and met Florentine and her team, who were incredibly welcoming and made me feel at home.

I started volunteering the following week and found the experience immensely enjoyable. For two years, I volunteered on the reception desk, gaining valuable experience in computer use, greeting visitors, and performing general office duties.

This experience significantly boosted my confidence and enabled me to successfully apply for a permanent full-time position with Barnsley MBC, where I am now working as a Receptionist. I am immensely grateful for the support and professional training I received at ELSH through volunteering, which played a crucial role in my career progression.”



ELSH Student

“Arsham, a 24-year-old refugee from Pakistan, arrived in the UK with his family seeking asylum. Upon settling in Barnsley, Arsham faced numerous challenges, including language barriers and difficulty navigating the local community. Determined to rebuild his life and support his mother and younger brother. Arsham sought assistance from ELSH.

Upon enrolling in ELSH’s English language classes, Arsham was warmly welcomed by the volunteer tutor and other students. Through immersive language teaching, learning interactive activities, and personalised support, Arsham began to build his English proficiency and gain confidence in his communication skills.

Beyond language learning, Ahmed also participated in ELSH’s vocational training programs, where he acquired valuable skills in computer literacy and job readiness. With the guidance of ELSH staff and volunteers, Arsham was provided with one-to-one support and completed a work placement at a local business, gaining practical experience and building professional connections.

As Arsham’s confidence grew, he became an active volunteer in ELSH’s community events and workshops, where he shared his experiences and insights with other newcomers. Inspired by his journey, Arsham volunteered to mentor new arrivals, providing them with guidance and support as they adjusted to life in the UK.

Today, Arsham is employed full-time in a local supermarket providing IT support, where he utilises the skills and knowledge gained through ELSH’s programs following his IT background. He continues to be an active member of the community, volunteering his time to support other refugees and migrants on their journey to integration.

Arsham’s story exemplifies the transformative impact of ELSH’s programs in empowering individuals like him to overcome adversity, build meaningful connections, and achieve their full potential in their new homes. Through holistic support, personalised guidance, and a nurturing community environment, ELSH continues to make a difference in the lives of refugees and asylum-seekers in the Barnsley community.”

Paul Wrend


ELSH Volunteer

Paul found himself in a common predicament among university graduates. Despite earning a Master’s degree in Philosophy, he struggled to secure a full-time job, spending nine months in a fruitless search. During this time, he worked part-time night shifts in administrative support. It was then that he learnt about the Educational Learning Support Hub (ELSH).

Motivated by the opportunity, Paul joined ELSH as a classroom assistant volunteer and soon advanced to the role of volunteer teacher. He also completed a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course, which significantly enhanced his teaching skills at ELSH.

Paul’s experience at ELSH proved invaluable. After leaving, he leveraged his newfound skills to secure a position as a supply teacher. Today, he works across various schools, teaching multiple subjects, including Geography.



ELSH Student

“Hi, my name is Jenny (evgniia). I am from Ukraine; I am 30 years old. I have lived for 1.5 years in England. The first time was when I arrived in England. I’ve been in a small town near Liverpool. I have lived in Barnsley for more than 1 year. I have a big family, but all my family is in Ukraine. I had an interesting and creative job. I was an organizer of the event, and I created the design for events such as birthday parties, weddings, baby showers, etc.

It was an interesting job and life. But on 24/02/22 life in my country changed. I lost my job and a calm and normal life. My town has been under occupation for 2.5 months around 4 am we woke up from a strong noise, which had been outside but on 20/04/22 in the evening enemy was in our town. We were very lucky because our town doesn’t have 2.5 months we were not to go to other regions or other people and some stores with products and vegetables and may of 22022. We’re very lucky because the enemy did not do all these terrible acts, like in other towns or cities and somehow, we escaped and came to the UK.

Now after 1.5 years, my life has some stability, and I found a part-time job with the help of ELSH and trying to live my life as normal as possible. I am extremely grateful to ELSH for not only helping me find a job but also helping me improve my English and other aspects of life.”