Neighbourhood Learning in Deprived Communities (NLDC) was a £20 million national fund made available though the Skills Funding Agency as part of their Adult Safeguarded Learning provision. The overall aim of NLDC funding was to support the local voluntary and community sector by developing the capacity of organisations to deliver learning opportunities to residents of the disadvantaged neighbourhoods and communities of Bedfordshire and Luton.
The Learning Partnership has managed the funding allocation for Bedfordshire and Luton since 2005 and we have seen it support a wide range of neighbourhood and community based projects that would not have been possible otherwise.
Whilst NLDC funding allows for a variety of project activities to take place, there are certain priorities that the Skills Funding Agency seeks to meet. These priorities include:
- Seeking out and building the delivery of learning capacity of new and existing providers
- The engagement of workless, low skilled adults in activities aimed at progressing them closer to gaining sustained employment
- The engagement of adults classed as ‘hard to reach’
- The promotion of partnership collaborations and close partnership working
- The encouragement of learners in their progression into further learning or employment – for many, NLDC funding may provide their first real opportunity for learning since leaving school.
Within any year the funding allocation for NLDC has been used to support a number of small projects, up to the value of £8,000 each.
Coordinator & Contact
T: 01234 840758
Partners on this Project
For the 2011-12 academic year NLDC supported the following organisations and projects:
Bedford Training Group
A taster of Training
As part of NLDC 2011-12 the taster of training project provided unemployed and/or low skilled adults living in Bedfordshire with a selection of half day taster sessions in various engineering and construction skill topics, giving them an insight into vocational skills training with the aim of encouraging them back into work or further learning/training.
Each taster session lasted for 3 hours and was delivered in a work based learning environment in Bedford.
14 taster sessions were delivered in total between January and May 2012 with 24 unemployed adults from the Bedford area attending at least one session each. Many of the participants progressed onto level 2 courses in Performing Engineering.
Bedfordshire and Luton MIND
The Business Mind project developed and delivered an Open College Network accredited training programme that prepared 15 individual MIND services users from Bedfordshire for self- employment.
Recovering mental health service users were given the knowledge, information and guidance to be able to participate in the ‘WorkShop in Mind’ programme and to equip them with knowledge and skills to enter into self employment.
The course ran twice throughout the year with each course running for 3 hours per week for 8 weeks.
Project mentors were identified from existing MIND volunteers acting as a support for the learners, guiding and motivating them during and following the delivery of the course.
In addition Mind developed a new 3 day training programme to develop their staff and capacity build the organisation, allowing staff to enhance their practice in supporting adults with mental health difficulties.
The fresh start project engaged with 11 adults from the most socially and economically deprived wards of Luton and South Bedfordshire. The project provided an engaging employability skills programme, incorporating radio based training and work experience. The overall aim was to improve participants future opportunities to progress into training, education or employment.
Participants worked towards and achieved the NCFE Employability Skills Level 1 certificate and an Open College Network Level 1 Radio Presentation and Broadcasting certificate. Ongoing support and the opportunity to access information, advice and guidance was also provided.
The course was delivered at Diverse FM premises in Luton, one day a week for 14 weeks and started in January 2012.
Groundwork Bedfordshire and Luton
Introduction to Landscaping and Construction Skills
The ‘Introduction to landscaping and construction skills’ project engaged 10 unemployed adults from Bedfordshire onto a programme of learning that enabled them to gain practical skills in landscaping and small scale construction tasks and to pass the CSCS health and safety test with the long term aim of moving them closer to employment, further education/training or volunteering.
The project was delivered at the Townsend Centre in Houghton Regis and helped to redevelop a small area of garden land for use by centre users. Learners completed 6 days of training over a 3 week period, starting in November 2011.
In addition the project also delivered extra sessions to help the learners develop a portfolio of work and marketing materials in order to assist them in gaining employment.
The project culminated in a celebration event in front of invited guests including friends and family of the participants and users and staff at the Centre. The participants worked together to create a display depicting their work and gave a presentation to the guests about their time on the project.
Social Needs Awareness Project
The Snap Folk project engaged with 15 unemployed adult learners from Luton and the surrounding area, all of whom had varying degrees of needs, interests and experience.
Learners engaged onto an individually tailored programme of creative arts and media interventions including photography, animation, textiles and contemporary arts and crafts. Learners also had the opportunity to develop skills in marketing their work and enhancing their CVs.
Each programme delivered activities that allowed learners to develop the skills and confidence necessary for them to potentially progress into further learning, training, employment or voluntary opportunities.
Learners had access to both group workshop tasters and individual one to one sessions, depending on their needs and were able to access up to 24 hours of learning.
Lets Talk About Money
The aim of the lets talk about money project was to provide a financial literacy skills course to low skilled adults from Luton. The project increased the confidence of participants , helping them to manage their money effectively, increasing their basic skill levels and encouraged them to progress to further learning, volunteering and/or employment.
38 Learners engaged onto the programme and attended 3 x 3 hour workshops on Tuesday mornings.
The courses ran between October 2011 and May 2012.
The Princes Trust
The Mentor Communities project recruited and trained eight new Progression Mentors, giving them the skills to be able to provide additional support to 17 young adults completing Prince’s Trust programmes.
The additional mentoring support for the young people was offered on a tailored one to one basis, over a 3-6 month period, depending on their need, and focussed on helping them to realise and achieve their personal goals and engage in a positive outcome.
The Polish School in Bedford
Support for Unemployed Parents
The ‘support for unemployed parents’ project developed and delivered an innovative 24 week learning programme aimed at improving the parenting skills, overcome cultural and language barriers and to open up employment opportunities to 30 disadvantaged, low skilled adult migrants living in Bedford and the surrounding area.
The course was delivered in English by multi lingual staff thereby embedding English language training and development into the programme. Support for learners was provided throughout the course.
To meet the needs of parents the project ran every Saturday morning in line with the school terms, between October 2011 and July 2012
The course enrolled 35 people, 26 of whom went on to successfully complete the whole course.