Learning Communities is a joint initiative between City of Wolverhampton Council, voluntary and community providers, WEA – Adult Learning within Reach, City of Wolverhampton College, Adult Education Wolverhampton and the University of Wolverhampton.
The partnership offers a wide range of support in developing skills, accessing employment, training or further education, and tailored advice and support for residents who are experiencing barriers to accessing services, support and learning.
These activities are normally conducted at community venues across the city, but partners have had to readjust their engagement and delivery methods to meet the needs of residents during the outbreak – and are going the extra mile to ensure community wellbeing during this challenging time.
Vice Chair of the Learning Communities partnership and member of Wolverhampton Learning Platform, Josie Kelly, said: “The Learning Communities partnership is a network of voluntary and community sector providers working collaboratively with the Council and key training and health providers to deliver learning, skills and employability services in community venues and neighbourhoods.
“In recent weeks with the closure of community facilities, we have continued to offer services to those in need and also developed offers using online and telephone platforms and a wide range of online training and resources.
“We have ensured that access to our facilities and resources remains available to the public and as time goes on we are seeing increasing numbers of local people seeking advice and support.”
City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, added: “There is a strong partnership between the Council and and our voluntary and community partners across Wolverhampton.
“Ordinarily, it demonstrates the determination the city is showing to raise aspirations, develop a skilled workforce and engage adults in learning to improve health and wellbeing.
“Now, at this difficult and challenging time it is inspiring to see how everyone is pulling together and working tirelessly to maintain a presence and serve our local communities.”
Services are being delivered through Job Change (information, advice and guidance, online training and qualifications); Park Village Education Centre (supplying food parcels to WV10 postcodes); Stratton Street Community Centre (supplying food parcels and hot meals to WV10 postcodes); Aspiring Futures (counselling, domestic violence support and befriending and bereavement); Citizens Advice Bureau (employment law particularly around furloughing and unfair dismissal, help to claim Universal Credit, debt, Pension Wise, food poverty, housing/rent arrears); Access to Business (supporting small local businesses, residents’ wellbeing, employment support, first steps learning in English, maths & IT); TLC (supporting residents and families with English as a second language); Wolverhampton Equality & Diversity Partnership (supporting and mobilising local groups and residents to volunteer and help others); Refugee and Migrant Centre (immigration advice, benefits/guidance); YMCA (supporting young people via Head Start and Talent Match, information, advice and guidance, conversations and signposting, first steps adult learning; Recovery Near You (support to children, young people, adults and families who are experiencing substance misuse); and Bilston Resource Centre (supporting existing learners with English and ICT via remote learning and receiving enquiries and offering remote support).