A HEXHAM woman has organised English language lessons for Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in the Tynedale area.

More than 40 people who fled the Russia-Ukraine war have settled in Tynedale, but many of them have limited English.

Debi Crowley, who is an English HLTA at Queen Elizabeth High School and a qualified TEFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher, decided to attend a Hexham Together for Ukraine meeting, which brought those interested in helping Ukrainian refugees together.

"When Hexham Together for Ukraine were looking for help, I thought 'Well I can help teach English', so I went along to the Abbey but they had no one to coordinate it," said Debi.

"As yet, there's no English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses in place here because there's never been a requirement for it."

While ESOL courses will begin in Tynedale in September, until then, Debi and three others are teaching three English classes a week.

Northumberland County Council has allowed them to use the adult education rooms at Wentworth Leisure Centre for the two-hour sessions.

Debi said the refugees they are teaching have a "huge range" of abilities, from people who speak no English at all, to someone who is "pretty much fluent".

The students have been split into a total beginners group, and then a group for those with basic English together with more advanced learners.

Debi said: "I'm a big supporter of helping refugees in any way that we can, but financially I can't and we don't have space to host anybody.

"So this was the only thing that I could do to help."

She added: "At the high school, we've got a number of Ukrainian students, and again, I've got the experience so I've been helping to support them as well."

Debi said "everybody is welcome" at the lessons, and that they are not just for Ukrainian refugees.

Those interested in joining the lessons can email tutordebi@outlook.com