The Lifelong Learning Programme is drawing to a close; over the last 7 years it has funded countless organisations and individuals. Throughout the year, we are still funding opportunities through Grundtvig and Transversal: In-Service Training, Visits & Exchanges and Study Visits.
Breaking the ice
These three opportunities have their similarities: they all fund individuals to develop skills and exchange expertise with their peers. If you have recently been successful with your application, or are due to go on your Mobility shortly, there are things that you can do to ensure you are prepared and make the most out of your experience. For example, Alison Walton-Robson of Headway Arts, before attending her In-Service Training course in Italy, not only read the required reading provided by the host organisation but also:
On my own initiative I looked at travel guides of the Bologna region. I also used iPad apps and other online language preparation/research such as ‘Easy Italian’, I wanted to be able to speak basic sentences.
Our opportunities are not only about enhancing your CV they are also the chance to add a European element to your training. Basic cultural preparation can make the difference in those first few minutes of meeting your host and fellow participants. At our Transversal Briefing Seminars one of our top tips is to find out about the group: Read the rest of this entry »
Today is officially the first day of spring, the time where the roots have bedded down and the first shoots start appearing. This might be a rather tenuous link but it started me thinking about the opportunities for growth and how the lifecycle of our projects enable new branches to sprout and develop.
Growth is a priority under the EU2020 objectives with sustainable and inclusive growth a focus. Continuing on the theme of growth, I thought I’d highlight some of our projects that look at the greener side of things. Many of our projects focus on conservation, nature and the environment, working to help communities and individuals through green-centered education. Looking first at Leonardo, the 2011 Mobility funded Parks & Gardens Apprenticeship Scheme, organised by Cardiff Council, provided apprentices with a new understanding of the techniques and processes involved in horticulture: Read the rest of this entry »
Nearly 75 million adults lack basic reading and writing skills which makes it hard for them to get a job and increases their risk of poverty and social exclusion – this according to a European Commission literacy report produced by a high-level group of experts.
Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, says;
We are living a paradox: while reading and writing are more important and relevant than ever before in the context of our digitised world, our literacy skills are not keeping up. We urgently need to reverse this alarming situation. Investments to improve literacy among citizens of all ages make economic sense, producing tangible gains for individuals and for society, adding up to billions of euros in the long run.
The Grundtvig Learner Workshop action was no stranger to addressing literacy and broader language issues. Growing Rural Enterprise ran a workshop in 2012 which consisted of farming and countryside activities with an added language component. As the workshop progressed participants were encouraged to learn between 50-100 basic English words and phrases including good morning, hello, goodbye, good night, good afternoon, please and thank you. The rationale for this Learner Workshop was to increase participants’ wellbeing, positivity, confidence, self-esteem and social skills. Read the rest of this entry »
Many of the projects we fund work closely with people that face social exclusion to ensure that they are not only included in their local community but that they also have the opportunity to learn throughout their lives. One of these projects is run by developing partners cic (dp) a social enterprise organisation that is led and run by people with long-term mental health needs working in partnership with diverse people who experience social exclusion.
Recently dp has been involved with a Grundtvig Partnership project called New Knowledge – New Life Quality, which looks at how dp motivates adult learners from diverse background to learn and develop craft skills, skills which many people from different cultures share, and will exchange and share these skills and experiences with their partners from across Europe.
Leading the evaluation aspect of the project, dp produced a tool called ‘body mapping’. Asking the question, ‘So What Changed?’ members were encouraged to use their own body silhouette to share what impact the organisation has had on their lives.
Throughout the years, the Transversal Study Visits programme has offered participants the opportunity to gain expertise, share best practice and increase their professional networks in another European country. Alternatively, it has allowed organisations to apply for funding to host a Study Visit in their home country.
The programme is open to participants who are a national of, or employed in, one of the countries participating in the Lifelong Learning Programme (27 EU Member States + the EFTA countries and candidate countries).
From busy cities such as Rome and Barcelona to more remote places such as Ordu on the Turkish coast and Leirvik an island municipality in Norway; our UK participants have been exploring different skills and practices in a range of different countries. Whereas some UK participants find it pretty straight forward to plan their direct flights to their Study Visit destination, one learner, Chris Williams chose to travel further afield…
Senior volunteers from Tameside, Greater Manchester were inspired and enthused by their recent placement in France. The volunteers were recruited by New Charter Housing Trust who in partnership with Association Montigny International has put together a series of volunteering activities surrounding cooking and horticulture – ideal for the domestic gods and goddesses or the green fingered among them.
Montigny has been twinned with Denton since 1993 and with strong links between the two towns it created the perfect platform for the organisations to come together in partnership to run a Senior Volunteering Project. The collaboration allowed New Charter Housing Trust to offer unique experiences to their volunteers and helped to expand and promote the work of the volunteers with residents in their community.
Sandy Watson is an experienced Grundtvig promoter, who has successfully run a variety of different projects since 2008.
Sandy works as a Children and Families Development Manager at G4S Care and Justice Services HMP Wolds. Her work is about helping prisoners and their families who often live on the edge of society to make changes in their lives. She has managed to develop the whole of the Children and Family work at HMP Wolds and has become involved in supporting other prisons in taking their family work forward.
Through Grundtvig’s Visits and Exchanges funding, Sandy undertook job shadowing at the Family House at Engelborg, Denmark. This institution, a first of its kind in Denmark, hosts up to 5 families where one of the parents is serving a prison sentence. The family has to agree to various interventions and to work with practitioners throughout their stay (average of 3 months). Each individual member of the family, including children, is offered counselling and practical support.
My current involvement in Grundtvig Senior Volunteering Projects, got me thinking about the serious value of Small Co-operation funding, not just from the viewpoint of benefitting learners but also as an additional mechanism for enhancing the skills of staff.
Challenges facing organisations
Recent reports have highlighted that organisations face difficult challenges when it comes to staff training. But as Joanne Van Der Meer, Family Learning Coordinator/Film Tutor from the British Film Institute said:
‘Grundtvig Small Co-operation projects are fantastic for increasing skills and knowledge’.
Joanne is currently finishing a 2 year Grundtvig Partnership Project ‘New Educational Journeys for Adults: Enhancing Family and Intergenerational Learning Through Photography, Film and Animation’. Read the rest of this entry »
As the newest member of the Leonardo Mobility team, I really didn’t know what to expect at my second day of work but I was looking forward to it. The Start-Up Seminar had a number of presentations aimed towards both new and experienced promoters who had recently been granted funding from the Leonardo programme for Mobility projects. It was a great introduction to the programme, both for me, and for new organisations. I expected to see a fairly large number of attendees at the seminar, and I wasn’t disappointed; there were around one hundred promoters that had arrived. However, my nerves were quickly cast aside as I began to introduce myself and mingle with the open and welcoming attendees who I found to be very friendly.
When the seminar started and I had taken my seat, I immediately realised that most of the people at my table were experienced promoters. Their friendliness and enthusiasm about this seminar and their projects soon broke the barriers of communication between us and I found myself becoming part of the discussion in no time! I soon found out that the Mobility Start-Up Seminar was designed to enlighten both new and old promoters on the upcoming stages that would take place during their projects, and basically how to get their project off to a running start! Read the rest of this entry »