Working with local partners, Bury College identified a significant gap in community-based provision for people who were living in priority areas and not engaged with education. Through Changing Lives (2012-2015) and No Barriers (2016-2019) they have been working with over 20 community and voluntary organisations across the Metropolitan Borough to address this need.
Activities are delivered throughout the week and include community-based engagement activities such as Conversation Cafés, individual Information, Advice and Guidance, and in-depth one-to-one sessions to agree individual action plans. Learners can also access bespoke training sessions that respond to individual need.
The project team take a proactive approach, spending long periods of time working within the community to build trust and engage residents. They deliver tailored activities that respond to need (for example Everyday English, Reading to a Child and Employability Skills) and have provided enhanced levels of support throughout. The mentoring nature provides guidance and reassurance and has been instrumental in securing so many positive outcomes. The projects have successfully engaged over 750 of the most vulnerable residents. Learners have completed non-accredited courses, gained qualifications, progressed on to further learning, and progressed into employment.
Learner Weam said, “I’ve had so much help and support from the ‘No Barriers’ team. They provided me with training and helped me apply for jobs. I now have a role at a local Primary School”.
William McGillivray from Bury College said, “Projects such as this are real enablers in helping adults to successfully re-engage with learning”.
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