Your NNC: Blog
Cliff and Sue celebrate 10 years of volunteering with NNC
At the beginning of 2022, we profiled two of our wonderful volunteers, Cliff and Sue. A lot has changed in the world and with Newtown Neighbourhood Centre (NNC) since then. As part of May’s National Volunteer Month, we wanted to speak with Cliff and Sue again about their decade of volunteering with NNC.
Tailored support for Australia’s newest residents
Husband-and-wife dream team, Cliff and Sue, have been volunteering at Newtown Neighbourhood Centre (NNC) since 2013. Together, they teach migrants and refugees English, Literacy and Numeracy through the centre’s free support classes each Monday and Wednesday mornings from 10.30am-12:00pm. All are welcome to attend these drop-in classes with NNC underwriting the costs to ensure there is no barrier to participation.
During COVID, attendance waned, but Cliff and Sue continued to show up and students have now returned to the classroom. Classes have an average of eight participants, allowing the dynamic duo to provide tailored support for different reading and writing skill levels. Students come from all different backgrounds, ages and countries. Current attendees hail from Iran, Vietnam, China, Spain, Venezuela, Colombia, Russia, Korea, Georgia and others!
“Come when you can, come late or leave early. All are welcome,” says Cliff.
Making a difference, one class at a time
For Cliff and Sue, every interaction with a student is an opportunity to change someone’s life for the better.
The pair utilise various learning tools to keep the classes engaging and fun, including photo dictionaries, storytelling and listening exercises. Sue recalls one of her older students who was encouraged to attend from her sons who wanted to help her learn English.
“She was initially very quiet and shy and did not speak up. It’s fantastic to see how her confidence has improved and to watch the enjoyment she gets out of attending class each week.”
Cliff and Sue’s classes are one of the only places in the Inner West where anyone can show up and receive language and numeracy support on an ad hoc basis. NNC could not deliver this grassroots learning program without their passion to give back to our local community. Cliff and Sue say they will continue to teach as long as the students show up. Volunteers are the backbone of NNC and we are grateful for their generous and ongoing support.
Thank you Cliff and Sue!
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