WRDA Makes Presentation on Successful Live & Learn Partnership
On Tuesday 16th June WRDA participated in an event for Adult Learners Week 2015, organised through the Forum for Adult Learning NI (FALNI). Katherine Robertson (WRDA’s Live & Learn Project Worker) delivered a presentation of the key findings from the Live & Learn Partnership Evaluation Report, highlighting the achievements and examples of activities; the barriers to learning; the tailored supports; the unit costs; and the outcomes and impact for the 11,000+ women beneficiaries across Northern Ireland. Theresa Watson from Chrysalis Women’s Centre detailed her experience of the Live & Learn Partnership and how it has changed and shaped the lives of women and their families in the Craigavon community. The presentation was very well received and Theresa capably demonstrated how a relatively small amount of funding over six years can be used creatively in meeting local need by engaging “hard to reach” women and inclusion of isolated and ethnic minority women in adult learning. This learning produces a ‘ripple’ effect with women progressing into facilitation, volunteering and campaigning activities. Lorraine Boyd (Manager of NEET’s Strategy Forum) gave a presentation detailing how community and youth groups worked collaboratively and engaged with government to lobby for the development of a NEET’s strategy which was published in 2012 as well as NEET actions being included in the most recent Programme for Government. Colin Neilands (FALNI) then presented on the NI Impact Forum for Adult Education which is an initiative managed in NI on behalf of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) and which links to the EC’s European Agenda for Adult Learning. Forums have been established in each of the four nations with the aim of facilitating a dialogue between stakeholders in adult learning across the sectors, to strengthen relationships between these stakeholders and to allow the exchange of experience and policy across the nations. The forums have addressed the same core themes of Essential Skills & Social Inclusion, Improving Progression for Excluded Groups and Digital Learning in Communities which will enable cross-fertilisation between England, Scotland, Wales & NI. A final conference event will be held in October which will bring the learning from the whole project and the other Impact Forums to a wider audience in Northern Ireland. Following the presentations there were smaller group discussions on the two key messages to potential decision makers regarding adult learning, and how we can get those key messages across. The meeting agreed that we must lobby and campaign across all government departments to achieve a commitment which recognises the value of adult education in the new Programme for Government 2016.