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Ex-Gurkhas and their families will have a chance to learn English at Uxbridge College thanks to a new grant.

Hillingdon Community Trust has awarded £13,500 to the project to provide classes for members of the Nepalese ex-service community living in the borough.

Gurkhas have been part of the British Army for almost 200 years and in the past 50 years have served in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Borneo, Cyprus, the Falklands, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. There is currently a community of around 1,200 Gurkhas and their dependents in Hillingdon.

Families often have difficulty communicating with doctors, accessing education and training and working because they may speak little or no English.

The courses, run in partnership with Hillingdon Gurkha Nepalese Community and the Gurkha Settlement Service, will be based at Uxbridge College’s Hayes campus for up to 75 people over a year.

Jon Parish, Section Manager - ESOL Adult Progression & Commercial at Uxbridge College, said: “This is a wonderful result for everyone involved and Uxbridge College is delighted to be helping Gurkha families in Hillingdon become more settled and involved in the local community as a whole. We would like to thank Hillingdon Community Trust, Hillingdon Gurkha Nepalese Community and the Gurkha Settlement Service for their support in identifying and meeting the educational needs of these families.”

Hillingdon Community trust is an independent grant making trust. It supports projects in the six southern wards of Hillingdon; Botwell, Heathrow Villages, Pinkwell, Townfield, Yiewsley and West Drayton and currently receives all of its funding from Heathrow Airport Limited.