Community Involvement: LfCI Project
Project Aim: "To increase the awareness of opportunities for social and public participation."
Each year of the project had a particular focus.
In the first year, the focus was to 'engage learners in one-off activities, events and short courses.'
In the second year, it was about running 'longer courses, sharing teaching and learning resources, and transferring successful activities to other WEA regions'.
In the third year there was a focus on 'embedding the project work into mainstream WEA courses through training tutors and piloting activities with secondary beneficiaries'.
The 'LfCI project' provided 200-300 educational activities and courses for adults in every English region.
Throughout the course of the project 3,398 beneficiaries had participated in LfCI activities (587 in year 1, 1,563 in year 2, and 1,248 in year 3)
There were also 36,2971 indirect or secondary project beneficiaries attending WEA mainstream community involvement strand courses which have an enhanced active citizenship focus as a result of the LfCI project
LEARNER & PARTNER FEEDBACK
Feedback from learners during the project was extremely positive for example, of the 1457 LfCI learner evaluation forms received;
-93% of respondents agreed with the statement - "I feel that the activity/course has enabled people from different backgrounds to meet with/get on well with/ learn from each other (for example mixing social class, faith, ethnicity)". Including 41% who strongly agreed.
-90% of learners agreed with the statement - "I feel that the activity/course has enabled/will help me to become more active in my community (for example attend public meetings, volunteer, campaign)", including 33% who strongly agreed.
-89% of respondents agreed with the statement - "I feel that the activity/course has enabled me to/will help me influence decisions in my community (for example respond to consultations, vote at elections, write to my MP)",including 32% who strongly agreed.
In addition, partner organisations identified on-going impacts of LfCI, as the following partner quote highlights:
‘[LfCI] supported women to work together for a greater community impact, raised awareness of community issues and gave a forum for their discussions…We were able to provide new learning opportunities for members to become more actively engaged in their local communities. These opportunities would not have been available without the WEA. WEA staff were able to support us in developing our learning programmes and facilitate future partnership working with other local community organisation. The WEA produced a learning forum where learners’ confidence has been improved and women are now better able to influence decisions that directly impact on their own and their families’ lives.’
Despite the project coming to an end, this is only the beginning for the WEA to re-establish its social purpose learning ethos within its delivery of adult education.
The intelligence and resources collated through the project will provide WEA tutors and staff innovative and creative ways to enable their learners to think critically and get involved in their local communities.
An external evaluation of the project has just been completed with a number of recommendations for development within and beyond the WEA, you can read more about these here: Evaluation Report.
WEA LfCI- Project Team
Howard Croft- Project Manager Sue Taylor- Curriculum Coordinator (Active Citizenship) Mike Rogers-Curriculum Coordinator (ICT) Iram Naz- Curriculum Coordinator (Health) Joanne Homan (Administrator)
For more information on the LfCI project contact Howard Croft: firstname.lastname@example.org
New Links- Partnership Project in Coventry
The New Links project aims to develop the skills, knowledge, confidence and independence among individuals most in need, many of whom lead transient lives, reduce isolation, advance opportunities for interaction between different communities, enable integration within mainstream society and active participation in their local communities.
Project activities are delivered in Hillfields and Foleshill areas of Coventry, are free* and open to all* and include:
*depending on eligibility
• adult education courses/activities,
• taster workshops,
• English language practice clubs,
• trips to local services,
• information sessions by local providers, and
• volunteer placement opportunities.
• New and settled migrants in the Hillfields and Foleshill areas of Coventry, mainly those who have no recourse to public funds, i.e., cannot access welfare benefits.
• Other local people with low literacy levels and/ or poor educational attainment who experience problems in accessing education.
We are proud to be supported by:
(Professor Heaven Crawley, Chair in International Migration, PMB member)
(Sunairah Miraj, Policy and Project Manager- Migration, PMB member)
(Sabir Zazai, Centre Director, PMB member)
(Christabell Amoakoh, Chief Executive)
January 2015 – January 2018
Learning In Later Life
We have recently been successful with our bid to the Big Lottery’s Awards for All Programme for our “Learning in Later Life” project. The project will deliver courses for older people in sheltered housing in Telford and Wrekin.
Through the project we plan to improve the skills, knowledge and confidence of at least 80 older people residing in sheltered housing accommodation.
This will be achieved by developing existing links with sheltered housing organisations to enable residents (and wider community members) to access community based 'next steps' learning opportunities thereby reducing feelings of social isolation. Project activities will start in Autumn 2014 and finish in Spring 2015.
Sheila Bregeon (Project Manager):
“I’m delighted that Awards for All have provided us with the funding to run a range of courses in sheltered housing. We have previously run some very short courses and could see that there was a demand from learners to have longer courses, enabling them to develop skills in art, craft and IT. Residents of sheltered schemes can sometimes feel very isolated from adult learning, and from their community, so this funding will enable us to bring high quality education to learners and also encourage non residents to join courses, helping with community integration and cohesion.”