From left: Nichola Holderness, Empowering Healthy Communities – Programme Coordinator from Boston Borough Council, Matthew Van Lier, Head of Haven High Academy and Daniela Preda, Community Liaison Officer at Haven High

Boston Borough Council has partnered with Haven High Academy to enhance and accelerate the school’s successful Language Lab initiative, offering the young people and their families free language education sessions.

Building on the Language Lab’s previous successes, the extension of the initiative comes in response to the identified learning barriers facing the community and the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Lab forms an integral part of the Boston Borough Council Empowering Healthy Communities Programme and recently benefited from an investment of £100,000 from the council’s Government Community Champions Fund to further enhance it.

Alongside supporting the academy’s students, its services will now be extended to assist families in the wider community and provide them with the knowledge and skills needed to flourish.

The language sessions will take place in a specially designed area of the academy and will be hosted by a community liaison officer, who will use their own first-hand experience of language to guide participants through their learning, with the aim of breaking down the challenges associated with learning and education in the area.

Commenting on the launch of the initiative, assistant director for housing and wellbeing, Michelle Howard, explained: “We’re immensely proud to be working with Haven High to further develop the Language Lab initiative. We believe it will have a significant impact on the lives of those living in Boston who are facing challenges with learning and adapting to a new culture.

“As part of our work, we’re dedicated to making all Boston residents’ lives easier by delivering services like this that aim to remove those barriers and give every resident the opportunity to flourish in our community. We’re hugely thankful for the fantastic team at Haven High Academy who have shared our commitment to this vision, our plan for the future and remains devoted to providing outstanding education services for everyone.

“I look forward to seeing the impact this initiative will have on our local community and to continuing our long-standing partnership with the academy.”

Haven High also have a close relationship with Boston College and are able to offer adults a seamless transition to higher education when required. The opportunities are endless and will give the local community a chance to develop additional skills which will enhance their employability and salary rates.

Additional Mother and Toddler sessions will be added to the initiative, in an effort to support those who require access to childcare while learning.

As part of the initiative, Boston Borough Council and Haven High Academy also plan to develop a community hub that will serve as an information and communications centre for Boston residents. At the hub, support will be provided to enable access to key services and information.

Matthew Van Lier, Headteacher at Haven High Academy, said: “As an Academy, we have always been driven by providing a world-class learning and support structure for our pupils and through this funding, we are now able to extend that service to our local community.”

“So that’s why we’re delighted to have extended the Language Lab’s offering with the generous backing from Boston Borough Council. The additional services will ensure adults receive the very best support through regular learning sessions in order to prevent them feeling left behind in the community and to provide them with the tools they need for a successful future.”

Matthew added: “Our work with the Boston Borough Council team aims to ensure that everyone, no matter their background, has access to the same quality of education and care so they all have equal opportunities to thrive.

“We’re thrilled to be playing such a fundamental part in this project, and I’m excited to see the next stage of our plans for the Language Lab unfold and exploring further opportunities for community cohesion with the Council team.”

For more information on the Empowering Healthy Communities Programme and the Language Lab initiative, visit