Support for speakers of other languages
It is free to join our libraries and the easiest way is to fill in your details online and then visit your nearest library to collect your card. No ID is required.
'Say Hi' translation app
Say Hi translate allows you to have a conversation in two languages and easily understand each other. Just tap a button and start speaking. There is an extensive list of languages and dialects available.
- Tradduka: Translation of English to other languages
- Translator EU: Translation of English to other languages
Books in other languages
We have French, German, Italian and Spanish books available to request from our central bookstore. We also have dual language picture books for loan and can request free dual language picture books in over 30 languages from Book Trust, for families to keep. For books in other languages, please ask staff for more information.
eBooks and eAudiobooks
We now have a range of adult and children’s Ukrainian eBooks as well as Russian eBooks and eAudiobooks, via our BorrowBox app.
To use the app, install BorrowBox from your phone's app store. Alternatively, you can use the app store or google play buttons to go straight to the download page.
To start borrowing, select Cheshire East and Cheshire West Libraries within the app and enter your library card number and PIN/Password.
If you are not using a mobile device, you can access the service by logging into BorrowBox.
You can borrow up to five eBooks and three Audiobooks at any one time and place holds on items that are out on loan.
Public computers and access to the internet
It is important to be able to keep in touch with family and friends and so, our libraries offer internet access via their public computers and via library Wi-Fi (library membership is required to use both). Computer access is free, for one hour per day, for library members.
To assist customers where English is not their first language, the webpage default language on our computers can be changed to an alternative – please ask a member of staff how to do this.
The default keyboard language can also be changed to Ukrainian and selected libraries have keyboards, with the Ukrainian characters added to the standard QWERTY layout. Please ask at your library for more information.
English Conversation Groups
We have several of these relaxed, social groups which meet in libraries. The aim of the groups is to build confidence in speaking English and improve listening skills, through everyday conversations. These are ideal for speakers of other languages. English conversation groups currently take place at:
- Chester Library at Storyhouse: Wednesdays, 5pm - 6pm, fortnightly. Held in meeting room upstairs, drop in.
- Frodsham Library: Fridays, 11am - 12pm, weekly.
- Little Sutton Library: Thursdays, 2.30pm - 3.30pm, weekly.
- Neston Library: Wednesdays, 10.30am - 11.30am, weekly.
- Northwich Library (relocated to Weaver Hall Museum): Wednesdays, 10am - 11.30am, weekly.
- Sandiway Library: Thursdays, 10am - 11am, weekly.
English courses for speakers of other languages
- Cheshire and Warrington Equality and Race Centre (CHAWREC): based in the Unity Centre in Chester, CHAWREC offers English speakers of other languages (ESOL) a range of classes with qualified ESOL tutors, all abilities are catered for with both accredited and non-accredited classes and one to one support. Courses are available at:
- Barbour Institute, Tattenhall: Mondays, 10am - 12pm. All levels until need determined. Phone 01244 400730 for more information
- Chester Unity Centre: Mondays, 1pm - 2.30pm, conversational English and Beginners English. Term time only. Phone 01244 400730 for more information
- Chester Unity Centre: Fridays, 10am - 11.30am, Conversational English and 1pm - 2.30pm, Beginners English. Term time only. Phone 01244 400730 for more information
- Neston Community Youth Centre (NCYC): Fridays 1pm - 3pm. All levels until need determined. Register here.
- Northwich Memorial Court (Brio): Fridays, 10am - 11.30am, Conversational English. Term time only. Phone 01244 400730 for more information
- Wharton Library: Mondays, 10am - 11.30am.
- English in Chester: the English language centre in Chester is a British Council accredited school, the general English course aims to develop communicating effectively in English - all aspects of language are covered, with an emphasis on speaking and listening.
Springboard Cheshire are offering job support and advice to refugees and asylum seekers within libraries:
- Frodsham Library: Wednesdays, 2pm – 4pm, weekly. Drop in.
- Helsby Library: Wednesdays, 10am – 12pm, weekly. Drop in.
- Neston Library: if you are interested in drop in sessions at this library please contact one of our employment support officers on 07706321308.
We hope to extend this to other libraries shortly.
Support with food
Very Green Grocery
Very Green Grocery is located on Manchester Road, Northwich, CW9 7NS, (in front of TG Builders). Includes Community Shop and cafe: Open Tuesday 6.30pm - 7.30pm, Wednesday 10.30am - 2.30pm and Friday 10.30am - 2.30pm. They have a uniform exchange and also provide clothes, nappies and toiletries.
They also offer a “Time Together” session - a safe space for Ukrainian families and/or their sponsors to come together to chat, cook, shop and be supported. Thursdays, 11am - 2pm, weekly.
Port Grocery is a community food club which provides high-quality, low-cost food. They deliver to Ellesmere Port, Bromborough, Eastham, Neston, Little Neston, little & Great Sutton, Chester, Elton, Helsby and Frodsham.
Winsford Community Hub
Winsford Community Hub is located on High Street, Winsford, CW7 2AS (the old Job Centre) - open on Wednesdays and includes the Winsford Community Grocery which is open Tuesday 10am - 12pm, Thursday 5pm - 7.30pm and also offers a uniform exchange.
Too Good To Go
The Too Good To Go app lets you buy and collect this food at a discounted price so it gets eaten instead of wasted. You won’t know exactly what’s in your order until you pick it up. Download the app to get started.
Free online English language resources
- British Council: learn English online using high-quality resources, all the activities are designed for self-study with interactive exercises and worksheets
- Duolingo: provides help with learning English as a second language, the default language of the webpage can also be changed from English to another language e.g. Ukrainian
- Babbel: this resource is offering free access for Ukrainian refugees to language resources
- Mondly app: learn 41 languages from your native language via the Mondly app which is accessible on any device - Mondly is offering free mobile language courses for Ukrainian refugees