About Olive Tree

The Olive Tree Association was founded in 2003, growing out of a community ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) project that set up English classes at Exeter Mosque. This English language teaching project – which also organised Computing and Arts and Crafts classes - had been popular and successful and a small group of the project workers decided to set up a community organisation to help make sure that activities like this, which help to overcome the isolation experienced by many people from BME communities in Devon, would continue to happen.

Since then, Olive Tree has been working to respond to local BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) needs and to promote and support cross-cultural communication and the integration of minority ethnic communities. We are based in Exeter but work across the whole of the county.

Our core activity is still organising free English classes which are taught by volunteer teachers and full details of current classes can be found on Devon Grapevine at www.devongrapevine.ning.com These informal language classes, where everyone is welcome, are at the heart of what we do. People come along to improve their English, to make new friends and to share their ideas and experiences with other people from around the world.

In 2010, Olive Tree worked with Devon County Council to pilot a social media network for “people from other cultures living in Devon”. The result was Devon Grapevine, which is now an online community of over 350 people and continuing to grow. At the end of 2011 we were given a Big Lottery grant to further develop Devon Grapevine over the next four years and to expand the number of classes that we run so that we can help make sure that people have the English and the computer skills that they will need to benefit from Devon Grapevine.

The English classes and Devon Grapevine are our core activities but we will always consider requests for help with other BME related projects and/or to carry out consultations, undertake research or deliver training.

Use these links to have a look at Olive Tree’s:
• Constitution
• Equality Policy
• Child Protection Policy