More interpreters and more languages means more support

2014-interpretersOur interpreting agency is going from strength to strength, taking on new interpreters, covering more and more languages, and starting to work with other organisations to provide interpreting support.

Since we last wrote about the interpreting agency, we’ve had a new round of recruitment and training and some of our newest recruits are pictured on the right.

Trainees have been specifically recruited to cover languages that Gateway’s services had identified a need for, as well as other languages that are being spoken in Birmingham at the moment.

The number of interpreters has now gone from 17 to 28 and the number of languages we now cover has gone up from 12 languages to 22!

Blue means at least one person from Gateway speaks the language of that country
Blue means at least one person from Gateway speaks the language of that country

Each trainee completed a Level 2 qualification with CERTA, Community Interpreting, as part of our tailored course. The course covers the more sensitive issues that may come up in community work, as well as the more standard interpretation skills, and enables interpreters to be employed as part of our Community Interpreters Pool.

We have found this a great way to engage former clients and volunteers. Knowing the range of people we do through our other work has made it easier to find people who speak some of the less easy to access, or emerging, languages.

We are not currently taking on any more new recruits (but any future roles will be advertised on our website). Instead, we are focusing on moving the service externally, to support other organisations in the community.

Does your organisation need interpreting support?

We are keen to work with other organisations who might need access to interpreters. We’re especially interested to hear from organisations who are working with hard-to-reach communities in Birmingham.

As a CIC, our profits are directly invested back into our work and services. The interpreters we’ve taken on tell us they like the fact that the agency cut of the money they’re generating goes into serving the community and not into someone’s pocket.

In October Gateway secured £5000 from the Victims Capacity Building Fund, which helps build the capacity and capability of providers of services for victims from the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors in Birmingham. It means that those organisations who are part of the fund (which includes Women’s Aid, Victim Support and Crimestoppers) are able to access our interpreting services for free.

As part of this fund, we are currently working alongside WAITS, a women’s charity that works with victims of domestic abuse. Natalie Clarke from WAITS says, “Gateway’s interpreting service has extremely useful to us, in helping us to communicate effectively with clients despite the language barriers. Booking has always been efficient, prompt and straightforward. The interpreters are professional, friendly and have always delivered an excellent service. Thank you so much.”

We are also hoping to work with Drake Hall Prison in Staffordshire again, to offer another Community Interpreting qualification to women in prison.

If your community organisation needs interpreters and you’d like to find out more about working with Gateway’s Interpreting Agency, give us a call on 0121 456 7820.

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