As a result of the work developed through the successful Bedfordshire and Luton Community Learning Trust Pilot supported by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) during 2012-13, the five key stakeholders who receive direct funding from the SFA are working collaboratively to support the Community Learning Fund by providing funding, capacity building and support for the sector across Luton and Bedfordshire.
The Community Learning Fund (CLF) is one element of the work carried out by the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Learning Trust (The Trust), and is designed to specifically support and encourage the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) and other third sector and not for profit organisations in delivering innovative learning that supports disadvantaged adults, addresses local needs and key priorities to:
- maximise access to community learning for adults, bringing new opportunities and improving lives, whatever peoples circumstances
- promote social renewal by bringing local communities together to experience the joy of learning and the pride that comes with achievement
- maximise the impact of community learning on the social and economic well-being of individuals, families and communities.
For more details please contact Caroline Wilkins at the Learning Partnership or Teresa King at Luton Adult Learning.
Please see our:
- Final Evaluation Report
- Policy – Supply Chain Fees and Charges – 2014
- Community Learning Fund 2014 – Fees and Charges
Details of the 2014-15 funded projects are shown below:
4YP UK Ltd
Dee Thomas / Martin Steers
Our Digital Communities
Amount Funded: £13,445
The project worked within Houghton Regis and Flitwick to create digital communities by training and supporting 84 people aged over 50 to become “Digital Community Champions”.
Activities delivered included:
- 16 x 2 hour monthly digital drop-ins allowing members of the community to get help with digital services and technology.
- A course of learning consisting of 8 x 2 hr sessions, delivered once a week. Topics included:
- Introduction to digital age
- Introduction to technology (laptops, smartphones, tablets)
- Introduction to digital life (online shopping, online Government/council services, online banking)
- Introduction to digital social (social media, digital communities, digital media)
- Blogging, Photography, Radio/Podcasting, Video.
Each community/town created its own website/digital presence to upload this content and as a platform for future content and community engagement.
Throughout all sessions learners were supported with key skills (Numeracy, Literacy and ICT) as well as educating learners about how to stay safe online with passwords, phishing etc.
Of the 84 enrolled learners 3 went on to act as volunteer mentors, 1 of which was a paid position.
Amicus Trust Ltd (formally Bedford Housing Link)
Tina Dutton / Charmaine Neita
T: 01234 358478
E: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Life Skills: Maintaining a Tenancy
Amount Funded: £2,112
The project delivered life skills learning to 17 people in a homeless position, housed in Amicus Trust’s supported accommodation in Bedford and Central Bedfordshire. The project utilised the Amber Practical Housing Units (PHU) core unit ‘Introduction to Maintaining a Tenancy’ and learning outcomes contributed towards evidence for accreditation of these units. Delivery of learning included peer support.
The aim of the project was to improve the life skills of learners in order to enable them to prepare for living independently in a tenancy of their own, and to develop a learning habit as preparation for education, training and employment.
The objectives were:
- Raising awareness to homeless people of the relevance of Life Skills to achieve their aspirations for independent living
- Increase knowledge and skills to maintain a tenancy (what is a tenancy, landlord responsibilities, your responsibilities, tenancy rights, avoiding eviction)
- Engage homeless people in progression to continuing learning.
The project supported 8 learners to successfully complete the programme. 7 of these learners progressed onto accessing further support services. The project also recruited and developed 2 Peer Support mentors.
T: 01234 214871
Amount Funded: £1,893
The overall aim of the project was for learners, with high functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome, to improve their ability to manage their finances on a day-to-day basis in an effort to increase independence and decrease vulnerability to financial abuse and their anxiety over money management.
One course of 20 hours was delivered with 5 learners enrolling and successfully completing the course.
Each learner had a range of objectives to achieve including identifying personal spending habits, recognising differences between wants and needs in relation to spending, constructing a budget, suggestions of how to save money, definitions of financial terminology, recognising priority/non-priority debt, identifying and contrasting saving options, identifying costs for living independently.
Bengali Women’s Project (BWP)
Judith Robinson / Sheikh Moheeuddin
T: 01582 519500
E: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
First Steps to Learning
Amount Funded: £12,479
First Steps to Learning – Stages 1 and 2 – was an informal learning project to develop the self-confidence and English abilities of women who are not ready for the cultural change of attending UK formal adult education.
The aim was to provide learning sessions to women in a safe, known environment, so that they were able to develop their English abilities, their learning processes and their knowledge of self to enable them to function more fully in their host environment. Learners participated in activities to improve their confidence, motivation, interest in undertaking informal learning leading to take up of further education and training and employment opportunities.
Each Stage was delivered separately in three-hour tutor-led workshop sessions.
The Stage 1 course delivered 45 hours and Stage 2 30 hours.
The Stage 2 course offered learners who had previously completed stage 1 of the project, funded previously via the Community Learning Fund, the opportunity for more in-depth study with problem solving and learning techniques introduced at stage 1 given personal application at stage 2. Organised visits, presentations, planned interaction with native English speakers, and active citizenship projects were included at stage 2.
The courses enabled learners to understand and apply the learning processes (meta-learning), introduce/re-enforce decision making strategies for daily living, increase English literacy skills (speaking, reading, writing, listening) and encourage active citizenship and the role each of them can play in their community.
37 learner enrolled and successfully completed their programme of learning.
T: 01234 791147
Amount Funded: £5,764
The Aim of the ‘Taking Charge’ project was to deliver new, informal community based learning opportunities to disadvantaged adults in Goldington, Kempston, Brickhill and Harpur wards in Bedford to develop their skills and to improve their lives and overall financial and social situation.
28 learners (52 enrolments in total) engaged onto one or more of 3 courses:
- Eating Healthily on a Budget (18 guided learning hours)
- Sewing: Repair, Renew and Recycle (12 guided learning hours)
- Managing your Budgets (one day course)
Learners recruited were BPHA residents and those from other housing association properties and included unemployed people, those from disadvantaged wards and the low paid.
The Disability Resource Centre
T: 01582 470900
The Way Ahead
Amount Funded: £10,2636
The Way Ahead project delivered a package of support in a managed journey, and through a selection of supportive and engaging workshops, to learners who were either carers, experiencing mental health difficulties, those with learning disabilities and in particular people with long term illness / chronic conditions and physical disabilities. Residents from both Central Bedfordshire and Luton were engaged.
The project delivered 2 courses: ‘The Way Ahead’ and ‘Expert by Experience’.
27 learners enrolled onto the Way Ahead course of which 21 successfully completed and 14 progressed onto and completed the Expert by Experience course.
The course incorporated change management and personal development transforming people’s destinies. It provided learners with skills and information to be able to produce an action plan and prepare them for the way ahead including further learning and employment. Wider outcomes included improved confidence and motivation impacting not only on the learner but families and locally community.
T: 01234 316801
Award in Skills for Health and Social Care Level 1
Amount Funded: £7,222
The Award in Skills for Health and Social Care Level 1 delivered an accredited course to 14 learners who wished to improve their employment prospects and who had an interest in working in a care setting with Adults or Children.
The course provided learners with a good background to access work in Care, Schools, Nurseries or Child Minding and with a range of transferrable skills.
Target groups were women learners aged 19+ living in Bedford and focussed on hard to reach groups in the local community facing barriers to learning through disadvantage. Learners from multi-cultural backgrounds and minority groups as well as those on low incomes and with limited skills were recruited.
The course will ran one day a week for 10 weeks, consisting of 10 x 5.5 hour workshops, one to one supervision and guidance, homework assignments and next step information.
As well as a Level 1 Gateway certificate learners also gained an Emergency First Aid at Work qualification.
Natalie Morris / Clive Simpson
T: 01234 480980
Steps towards… Customer Service and Cooking
Amount Funded: £9,944
The aim of the Steps towards Customer Service/Cooking/ project was to develop transferrable skills, confidence and self-esteem, which will increase employability and economic participation within the community thereby increasing independence and reducing reliance on support services.
Target groups were adults who have learning or mental health difficulties/ disabilities, who are unlikely to engage in mainstream learning provision due to the nature of their conditions. The project encouraged learner progression to FE, volunteering or employment and improved active citizenship through improved confidence and self-esteem allowing greater access to the community. The project included IAG sessions.
2 courses were delivered: Customer Service and Cooking, each delivered one day per wk for 14 wks.
13 learners enrolled onto one or other of the courses with 12 successfully completing. 11 learners gained an accredited unit certificate from Gateway Qualifications.