Fisheries Areas Network

Good Practice Short Story

Local café helping to integrate migrants, improve languages skills and build friendships

In recent years, the Aberdeenshire fishing community has seen a sharp increase in migrant labour, working both at sea and in the processing sector, in particular from the Philippines, Ghana and Eastern Europe.
Visiting a Language café I have the opportunity to communicate with people from different countries, and find out about their traditions and interests. In the group, we not only learn the language, but we learn about the city, people and country in which we live. We find friends, exchange ideas, spend time in an interesting way.
Project Beneficiary

In a town like Peterhead, where migrants work in segregated workplaces, there are few opportunities to meet locals.  The Language Café supports migrant workers and their families to integrate and become part of the local community as well as improving their English language skills.

The Language Café is run in partnership by SSAMIS (Social Support and Migration in Scotland), Theatre Modo and Worker’s Educational Association (WEA) and meets weekly, led by an employed facilitator. The café’s opening hours are based around shift patterns, alternating morning and evening.  Local, native English speakers drop by informally and it’s a great opportunity to find out about each other’s cultures over a coffee.  Activities and guest speakers happen each week and cultural celebrations, such as a ‘Burns Night Supper’ have been a great success. There has been a measurable improvement in language skills, even English exams passed! and real friendships have been forged, reducing the loneliness and isolation often found in migrant communities.

Quote from the Project Promoter: Our Language Café is a site for intercultural exchange, and although there is an element of taught English for Speakers of Other Languages, the beautiful part is the stuff that goes on around the edges. In a typical café we have a conversation over coffee, and have fun learning new skills – anything from CPR to juggling.

Project information


Total project cost estimation: €11 000, including a grant from the Economic & Social Research Council to cover the costs of a facilitator and organisation, tutor costs from the WEA, along with in-kind contributions (venue and publicity) from Theatre Modo


Contact details

FLAG Contacts

Mr. Jamie Wilkinson
+44 1467 628383
United Kingdom
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