The LfCI project, funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government ran from April 2009 to March 2012. The aim was to increase awareness of opportunities for social and public participation, and build the confidence and skills for active citizenship.
Each year of the project had a particular focus. In the first year, the focus was to engage learners in one-off activities, events and short courses. In the second year, it was about running longer courses, sharing teaching and learning resources, and transferring successful activities to other WEA regions. In the third year there was a focus on embedding the project work into mainstream WEA courses through training tutors and piloting activities with secondary beneficiaries.
You can view our slideshow and read about the project’s activities in more detail by following the links to the project’s reports below. These contain interesting case studies and commentaries from learners and partners. They also highlight the different ways in which the project has supported people to participate in local matters and give voice to their experiences, and views, to better promote the needs of their communities.
Learner & Partner Feedback
Feedback from learners during the project was extremely positive for example, of the 1457 LfCI learner evaluation forms received;
93% of respondents agreed with the statement - "I feel that the activity/course has enabled people from different backgrounds to meet with/get on well with/ learn from each other (for example mixing social class, faith, ethnicity)". Including 41% who strongly agreed.
90% of learners agreed with the statement - "I feel that the activity/course has enabled/will help me to become more active in my community (for example attend public meetings, volunteer, campaign)", including 33% who strongly agreed.
89% of respondents agreed with the statement - "I feel that the activity/course has enabled me to/will help me influence decisions in my community (for example respond to consultations, vote at elections, write to my MP)",including 32% who strongly agreed.
In addition, partner organisations identified on-going impacts of LfCI, as the following partner quote highlights:
‘[LfCI] supported women to work together for a greater community impact, raised awareness of community issues and gave a forum for their discussions…We were able to provide new learning opportunities for members to become more actively engaged in their local communities. These opportunities would not have been available without the WEA. WEA staff were able to support us in developing our learning programmes and facilitate future partnership working with other local community organisation. The WEA produced a learning forum where learners’ confidence has been improved and women are now better able to influence decisions that directly impact on their own and their families’ lives.’
Despite the project coming to an end, this is only the beginning for the WEA to re-establish its social purpose learning ethos within its delivery of adult education.
The intelligence and resources collated through the project will provide WEA tutors and staff innovative and creative ways to enable their learners to think critically and get involved in their local communities.
An external evaluation of the project has just been completed with a number of recommendations for development within and beyond the WEA, you can read more about these here: Evaluation Report.
WEA LfCI- Project Team
Howard Croft- Project Manager Sue Taylor- Curriculum Coordinator (Active Citizenship) Mike Rogers-Curriculum Coordinator (ICT) Iram Naz- Curriculum Coordinator (Health) Joanne Homan (Administrator)
For more information on the LfCI project contact Howard Croft: firstname.lastname@example.org