Late afternoon evenings in the main school building at Shrewsbury School are usually quiet and tranquil, save for the occasional footsteps and infrequent shuffling of papers being marked. But Thursday evenings are different.


Classrooms are taken over by not-so-quiet children and mothers. They're here to get help for their homework from Shrewsbury pupils, but this isn't your average homework club. The children seeking help here, whilst as playful and excitable as any other of their peers, are all refugees. Most fled wars and conflict and arrived in the UK with little knowledge of English and struggled to keep up and make friends when they entered school here.


The homework club seeks to give refugee children a safe space to interact with people their age whilst getting academic support from Shrewsbury School students to help them progress in school. The younger children also get to play games and have fun with Shrewsbury school students, providing them with a happy and encouraging atmosphere for personal growth


 'I think it's very fun and enjoyable' says 12-year-old Marya Alwa from Syria, "it lets children learn and make them have fun".


The homework club has also expanded to help refugee mothers who are keen to improve their English and gain the skills needed to get qualifications for employment and better careers.


'Its very helpful, it improved my English and helps my children with their language skills whilst the students are very nice", Bachira, a mother from Syria who came to the UK five years ago says.


The club was founded by Kariman Yakhoul of Shropshire Supports Refugees, a charity giving help to asylum seekers in the county, with the aim of 'giving equal opportunity to every child by running this club'.


Naomi Pritchard, a teacher of business at Shrewsbury School who co-started the club adds that 'Homework club has been designed to help refugees new to the country who are unfamiliar with our curriculum and English language to catch up and offer support so that going to school in England is not as daunting as it could be and our student volunteers do an important job of nurturing and helping them to grow.'


This year, the club has continued to grow in size with more and more enthusiastic student volunteers eager to help out. The refugees getting help meanwhile are becoming articulate and sharp with their skill levels rapidly improving with the help of the club.


Marya, who now speaks English fluently, casually adds whilst swivelling on a chair, 'Just because people are different from you doesn't mean you should treat them differently'.