Wirral refugees learn to play crown green bowls to help integration into society

Video report by ITV Granada Reports' journalist Emma Sweeney.

Asylum seekers and refugees are being given the most quintessential of welcomes to help integrate within their local community.

The group have been learning how to play crown green bowls, and it is hoped it will also help them improve their English language skills.

The students at Wirral Met College have been taught the game by pensioners from Port Sunlight.

It is part of a test and learn pilot scheme funded by the Liverpool City Region which aims to help new arrivals as they seek to integrate.

The principle of Wirral Met, Sue Higginson, said: "It means we can do things that ordinarily, the funding wouldn't cover.

"So alongside the English language for speakers of other languages, they choose to go on different trips and visits to explore the Liverpool City Region, to build confidence and learn about our history and heritage."

The session is as much about socialising and confidence building as it is rolling the Jack across the green.

Waad Ibrahim from Sudan, was one of those taking part in the training session. She said the day had it been a "really good experience".

It was a point echoed by Rafiullah Enayet, from Afghanistan, who said the day had provided him with an opportunity to make new friends and practice his English.And it seems those passing on knowledge, got as much out of the session as the students themselves.

William Dow, the development officer for Merseyside County Crown Green Bowls Association, said: "I think it's wonderful that these kids have expressed an interest in our culture and our great sport.

"I've taken great delight to putting them on track today to hopefully taking the sport up and integrating into our community."

In fact, some are already talking about their next game of bowls - and there are even whispers they could potentially set up a team of their own.

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