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If you don’t feel confident speaking English it can feel frustrating trying to communicate with authorities.

You may need to speak (or write to)  a school, a college, a doctor or other people in the NHS, the Home Office, the council or a housing association.

While some public organisations have funding for translators and interpreters, not all do. Often they will use an interpreter working over the phone, or a video link such as Zoom.

If you need to attend a meeting in person , if you have a friend or family member who can speak English then you should ask if they can with you. 

If you don’t feel like you will be able to express yourself well in English you can ask an organisation if they can provide an interpreter for your first language.. Also you can ask a local organisation like us at Preston City of Sanctuary or the Red Cross for support. We will try to explain anything that you are struggling to understand and we will be able to signpost you to someone who can help.

We know that a lot of people try using Google translate  (Google Translate ) on a phone or computer. But you need to be careful. Some of the translations are not very accurate. We would not recommend this for official documents.

The Home Office may suggest that your personal identity documents need to be translated. It is important to double check this requirement with the home office or your immigration solicitor. Translation may not be necessary and a translation could cost you money.

If you have recently moved to Preston and don’t know the area well, please contact us and we will try to help.