For union learning projects to support as many people as possible it is important to build partnerships, and the POA Learning team at Newbold Revel have done just that, forming strong links with the Benn Partnership Centre in Rugby.
The Benn Partnership Centre is a multi-cultural community centre, working to support vulnerable people to overcome barriers and to re-engage with the mainstream. The centre gives support and guidance to help combat personal barriers such as debt or personal crises, support with ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), provide functional and digital skills and targeted career based support.
POA Learning had an initial meeting with the Centre in August 2017 which resulted in an understanding of a mutual commitment to adult learning that both bonded and intrigued both parties.
As a result of the meeting a fortnightly visit to the centre was agreed for POA Learning Centre Manager, Indira Stammes to attend and assist visitors and learners with course information and to support ongoing course progress.
It’s been a lovely learning experience meeting and working with the staff, volunteers and visitors to the Benn Partnership Centre.”
It’s great to see how eager people are and it’s great to meet people from all walks of life.”
With appointments on the increase, POA Learning are confident that a strong foundation that has been built between the centre and the union.
The new partnership has resulted in the learning offer from POA Learning reaching a wider audience as the Managers at the Benn Partnership Centre have passed on POA Learning’s information to other local organisations. Several requests have already been made for courses through the Job Centre Plus and Warwickshire Police.
There has also been a meeting, brokered by the Benn Partnership Centre, with Warwickshire County Council’s “Let’s Talk Hub” which has led to POA Learning being included in their online directory.
Indira commented that:
The mutual commitment between ourselves and the Benn Partnership Centre has been excellent. They have been warm, welcoming and supportive throughout. Seeing a steep increase in interest with appointments every fortnight is wonderful to see.”
I really enjoy seeing how keen members of the community are to learn and keep learning.”
One of the learners, Robi, is currently working through the Understanding Autism course and said:
I’m enjoying the course, and feel that I am gaining lots of knowledge.”
The hard work put in by Indira to get the partnership in place has paid off with other local organisations looking to get on board with POA Learning.