Selim took part in our Volunteer Development Program. We spoke to him about how he found the course, and what he enjoyed about Sheffield.

How did you hear about SAVTE? 

I think from the website from internet, I searched from internet for English support in Sheffield or language centre in Sheffield. I finished SYAC language class, then contacted SAVTE and Sheffield College. After 2 months, as it was Covid time, and there was a waiting list, SAVTE called me, they had a conversation class, they said if you want to join you can. So I started Jim’s group online.

How did you find the class?

It was useful, I liked it, every Wednesday. Jim’s knowledge is perfect. And some members of the group are from different countries – different people, different stories, their English is perfect, well, not perfect but ok. There were interesting topics, good chance for speaking, I like it.

How long were you in the conversation group for?

I was in Jim’s group for 3 months, then I joined Andy’s group, there were 4 or 5 people, for 6 months. When this group finished we drunk coffee in the city centre in the Winter Gardens with Andy and Duncan. At this time they said to me, “if you want you can join the Conversation Group as a supporter, as a volunteer.”  I was shocked! I asked, “are you joking? Me teach English?”. After that I think they gave my information to SAVTE.

And then you joined the Volunteer Development Programme training course? What did you think about the volunteer course that you did with SAVTE?

It was good. So many efforts and documents, nice preparation, it took 7 or 8 weeks. It was a nice environment. I liked it, it was perfect for me.

Did it make you feel more confident about the idea of supporting a Conversation Group?

Yes, because I met new people from different countries, and there were new topics for me.

What do you like about Sheffield?

I like Sheffield, the weather, the water! In Doncaster I lived for 3 months – you can’t drink the water there. Sheffield is number one! Nice environment, nice neighbours, people. Everything. I like it. Education city, I’m living in Walkley very near to Sheffield University. We didn’t see any problems, in 20 months, there were no problems. And it’s very easy to go to Manchester, London, Leicester, everywhere. It’s the centre of England. There is very good transport for family visiting from Turkey.  Only one problem in Sheffield – it’s very hilly!  For me and for my car! 

Do you have any advice for someone learning a language? 

Just practice! And don’t meet with own people, go out and meet other people who speak the language, it is very important.

Do you have any final comments or thoughts on SAVTE or Sheffield 

I want to say thank you. It was a great chance for me. It was very nice, very useful for me. Thank you for everything.

Interested in Volunteering? If you would like to meet new people, learn new skills, and gain confidence and experience, you can apply to Volunteer with SAVTE