Surrey Lifelong Learning Partnership has been successful in gaining development funding through NIACE's Community Learning Champions Support Programme to develop a commuunity learning champions scheme.
Our project, called 'Champions Inspire', is developing an innovative approach to help mental health service users, offenders, ex offenders, army personnel and their families to engage in informal adult learning, developing their interests, skills or sense of well being.
Key to this project is the training of ‘trusted’ Community Learning Champions (CLCs) able to identify needs and interests and to broker learning. The CLCs are seen as ‘trusted’ because they are recruited from very organisations which exist to support our target groups – namely, members/organisers of mental health support user groups and community development workers who support offenders and ex offenders or army personnel and their families. By virtue of their position, they have easy access to potential learners.
We are recruiting CLCs who can draw on their own personal learning experiences and inspire others.
Managed by Surrey Lifelong Learning Partnership, the new scheme is operating in Surrey and plans to spread into Hampshire. It is developing good practice to inform the roll out of CLC schemes more widely, across the South East and nationally. Surrey LLP is working in partnership with the Cornerhouse in Woking, Leatherhead Clubhouse, Hart Voluntary Action and Surrey Supported Employment to deliver the project. Eight people attended the first training course that took place in Woking in October and have started to put the training into practice as registered CLCs. Two more training courses are being planned.
Over an initial 12 month period CLCs will promote the value of learning amongst their members/contacts, each engaging at least 30 adults. Initial taster learning activities will be arranged to meet identified learner needs/interests. CLCs will organise tasters in some cases. They will also provide support to help adults to progress onto further learning by linking with providers of information advice and guidance and of informal adult learning.
If you are interested in being involved, please let us know by contacting Helen Thomas