Following the success of our first Community Interpreter Enrolment event in Worthing in May we met with community members in Eastbourne on 7th December 2023 at Community Wise in Eastbourne.
The aim of the event was to connect and build relationships with people from communities within East Sussex and give information about Community Interpreting and enrolling with SIS.
We promoted the meeting digitally through community contacts and partners and our colleagues John and Katherine visited local service providers, businesses, places of worship and community services to distribute promotional materials.
On the day we gathered for an informal briefing led by SIS Director Shahreen Shebli. Shahreen spoke to the value of Community Interpreting, why SIS’s approach is different as a charity operating in language services and how this approach has supported service users across Sussex for over 29 years; focussing on stories and service user feedback. It was also important to share and acknowledge SIS’ success is made possible because of the contribution, professionalism and loyalty of our linguists.
We were also joined SIS Community Interpreters by Irena and Mariana who shared their professional insight of their role. They shared their experience of working alongside SIS and highlighted some benefits:
- SIS treats Community Interpreters as people and not numbers, knowing their name and acting supportively. SIS checks in at longer sessions to make sure the Community Interpreter is okay to stay and if they need a break.
- When processing invoices SIS ensures Community Interpreters are never underpaid and receive detailed remittance advices.
- If a Community Interpreter declines a session, SIS never exert any pressure nor “hold it against them”. Mariana and Irena value their autonomy in deciding whether to accept a session and the flexibility being freelance brings.
- SIS offers sessions to one Community Interpreter at a time and allows them the time to fully consider whether to accept it.
Languages represented at the event included Cantonese, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Tagalog, Ukrainian and Vietnamese and we were able to establish connections and collect expressions of interest.
Some attendees were accredited interpreters and others were looking to make their first steps into the profession and find out about accredited training.
After the briefing we shared food and networked.
We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came, to the SIS community interpreters Mariana and Irena, those that helped organise the event and our voluntary sector colleagues for promoting it. We’re keen to continue running these events, our next event is planned to take place in Brighton in the New Year. Look out for further details on this on our website and social media.
If you or someone you know would like to find out more about enrolling with SIS as a Community Interpreter get in touch or if you would like SIS to come and speak with members of your community about our services you can send us a message.