21st century grand designs

From the Houses of Parliament to St Paul’s Cathedral, London has some of the world’s most historic landmarks. But how do you make such prestigious heritage sites accessible for all in the 21st century? One of our Grundtvig projects has been looking at just that and the importance of inclusive design.


A cruise along the Thames © CAE

Universal Design: Barrier-Free Environment was a two-year Grundtvig partnership between disability and access organisations from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain and the UK. The project aimes to promote inclusive design and help local authorities improve access to their towns and public spaces. The Centre for Accessible Environments, (CAE), a leading authority on inclusive design was the UK partner and tells us more about the project…

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Thank you to our 1,000 followers!

Q: What does the distance in miles from Bristol to Barcelona, the presumed number of legs on a millipede, and the LLP twitter account all have in common?

A: They all come to 1,000!

twitterSince we launched our Twitter account we have sent over 1,900 tweets, been mentioned over 800 times and are proud to announce we now have over 1,000 followers!

We would like to thank all of our projects and promoters who have shared their successes with us through social media. Every day we enjoy seeing your photos, watching your videos and hearing your project news.

We have already had lots to celebrate online as the #EUjourney hashtag from our Making the future possible event where we invited organisations from across the LLP and Youth in Action programmes to celebrate, contribute and continue their learning journey with us was used 224 times. You can see more thoughts from the day in our event Storify.

We hope you will continue to share your successes with us via Twitter and Facebook and also comment on our blog.

So, if you haven’t already done so, follow us on Twitter @llpUKecorys to keep up-to-date with with the latest LLP videos, photos and deadlines as well as information on the new Erasmus+ programme.

6 tips for budding women entrepreneurs

Business womanForbes recently published a report stating that in 2012 alone 126 million women worldwide were starting or running new businesses and an estimated 98 million were developing established businesses.

But it’s not easy starting a new business, especially if you have a family, are over fifty or come from a disadvantaged background. That’s why a number of Lifelong Learning Programme funded projects have focused on supporting female entrepreneurs from all backgrounds to develop the necessary skills to become self-employed. These are just a few tips from our projects if you’re a woman interested in setting up your own business:

1. Learn from other women entrepreneurs

Whether you’re confident about setting up your own business or a little hesitant, talking to other women entrepreneurs who can share their successes and challenges with you can help you learn from best practice and better understand the pitfalls of business.

Fe:male was a Grundtvig funded project that helped women across Europe connect in groups in order to mentor each other in business. Their website provides a wealth of resources and contacts if you’re interested in learning from other women entrepreneurs:
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Transversal Study Visit diary – part one

The Transversal programme funds individuals to share expertise and best practice in a Study Visit hosted in another European country. With the final round of study visits now open we asked one participant to take part in a travel diary with a difference: to share their story before and after their visit before the transition into the new programme. Lisa Mok, Assistant Director of Wai Yin Chinese Women Society, shares her preparations as we follow her visit to Budapest to look at social integration of people living in deep poverty in part one.

An introduction

Lisa Mok

Lisa Mok leaves for Budapest, Hungary, in October to take part in the four day visit

“My name is Lisa Mok and we’ve provided services to ethnic minority communities in Manchester and the UK since 1988. I am involved in the development of our Education, Training and Employment unit, providing a variety of courses for the Manchester  community. We learned about the Transversal programme from an organisation called Locality. We had been eager to get European  Commission funding to deliver adult learning activities to support disadvantaged groups but found we did not have any partners in European nations.

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A lot can happen in a year…

One year ago today, NASA successfully launched the Mars Curiosity Rover, Nick Skelton and the GB show jumping team leaped to victory winning a Gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics, and the Lifelong Learning Programme announced the 2013 Call for Proposals for the Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal programmes.

Now, 12 months later, there’s been a lot of positive change: the Curiosity Rover has discovered evidence to suggest why Mars lost its original atmosphere, Nick Skelton has been awarded an OBE and the Lifelong Learning Programme has funded almost 700 more education and training projects and is now evolving into the new Erasmus+ programme.

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Making the future possible: Storify

This year our Valorisation Conference held on 13 June was a huge success and we thank those of you who were able to join us with your feedback and contribution.

The conference was a chance to celebrate the learning journey of the Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action Programmes over the past seven years.

As part of the event, we asked organisations from across the programmes to share their #EUjourney with us.

To share the story of the conference with you we have created a Making the future possible Storify which you can now view here!

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2011 Call Grundtvig and Leonardo Partnerships Final Report Seminar – a celebration of achievements

With the deadline for the final reports for the 2011 fast approaching, the Leonardo and Grundtvig Small Scale Co-operation teams organised a seminar designed to help beneficiaries along the way. Leonardo and Grundtvig Project Administrators, Magdalena Dushanova and Maria Miranda, put together this blog about the day to help prepare and advise on final report content.


Magdalena (far left) and Maria (third from left)

Celebrating success
The aim of the Final Report Seminar was simple: to provide support and guidance to UK partners and explain the purpose of the final report and the impact it could have on future partnerships. Over 90 people attended the event held at Austin Court in Birmingham on 18 June which included presentations from members of the Leonardo and Grundtvig teams on:

-What the report should cover

-How to use the European shared database

-How to disseminate the success of projects through different media

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Taking action on Erasmus+

It has been an exciting time over the past week as the new programme for education, training, youth and sport has been confirmed as Erasmus+. During the transition to the new programme which is due to start in January, we want to be with you every step of the way. We’ve put together some new resources all about Erasmus+ and to answer some of the key questions you may have going forward…

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Sharing your success

Our Grundtvig and Leonardo Partnerships team have been busy this week hosting their Final Report Seminar at Austin Court in Birmingham.

The event provides projects with clear guidance on completing their Final Report, as well as the opportunity to share their best practice with other organisations from across the UK and meet the National Agency team to discuss any queries.

As part of the Communications Team, I was delighted to be invited along to talk to projects about how they can share their success, with information on the types of dissemination activities and opportunities open to projects throughout their funding journey.

We produce a wide range of guidance notes including  ‘Sharing Success’ and ‘Making a Difference’. Projects can also feature on the projects around the UK map on our website, and in our newsletters and publications.

Social media is a great way of getting the latest project activities out to a large audience. We have a guidance note and online resource for projects wanting to explore the different platforms and ‘Get Connected’. Projects can also follow us on Twitter @llpUKecorys, like us on Facebook, and we have a blog where we regularly feature project case studies, films, quotes and even poetry!

Many of the projects at the event are already well underway with their dissemination activities and it was inspiring to hear from some organisations on how they are using social media at events to engage their audiences.

With the projects coming to the end of their lifecycles, dissemination activities are important for raising awareness and demonstrating the impact of their project achievements and outputs. If you would like to share your success and have any tips to offer other projects for dissemination, please leave your comments below!

Information on the Final Report Seminar will be available shortly on our website.

It’s never too late to learn

Happy Learning at Work Day! For any of you who may not know, today is the Campaign for Learning’s annual awareness day to support learning in the workplace. LAW day forms part of Adult Learners’ Week, which draws to a close tomorrow, so we take a look at the biggest annual celebration of workplace learning and the wider European agenda for adult learning.

Many ways to learn

The theme for this year’s Learning at Work day is just that. The campaign highlights the point that now, possibly more than ever, workplaces and their staff need to build their skills in a bid to tackle the economic downturn.

Learners, workplaces and learning providers can all take part in this year’s event and there are initiatives across the country to encourage people to learn. You can see all these available so far here. Thousands of organisations took part in the campaign last year and staged business-related learning activities. This was all with the aim to provide new skills where  employees could uncover hidden talents and show there is no age limit for learning.

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