A Fair Deal for Learning: organising projects for hard-to-reach groups

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Community Education Development Centre (CEDC), 2001

CEDC is a national charitable trust which works towards improving access to learning, especially among those who have previously benefited least from learning opportunities. In consultation with community professionals who work in the field of economic regeneration, health improvement and education, CEDC has produced a guide to those who want to set up a project aimed at hard-to-reach groups. These are their recommendations:

1. People can 'do it' for themselves 2. Make sure people want to come to the venue you have chosen 3. Work in partnership wherever possible 4. Sometimes small ideas can have a big impact 5. Recognise achievements 6. Work with activists in the community 7. One size does not fit all 8. If people won't come to you, go to them

Case study

The Totterdown Bilingual Book-Making project grew out of a needs analysis with a local Asian women's group at Knowle Infant School, Bristol. It involved mothers helping their children to learn to read- and in some cases, improving their own English. Together with their children, they designed picture books with text in Urdu and in English. Besides the literacy aspect of the project, the women also learnt bookbinding techniques to produce re-usable laminated pages. Some of the women have moved on to a computer skills course at the City of Bristol College. Jackie Winchester from Bristol community education service explained how it got off the ground:

"Initially, parents received information from the school inviting them to come in for an informal chat about what they might expect from the project. The Urdu-speaking teacher and the book-making tutor were at this first meeting and were involved throughout. This seemed to help make people feel more comfortable and the book-making tutor brought some beautiful laminated books which got people very interested. The project went on from there."

Links: For the Community Education Development Centre (CEDC) visit www.continyou.org.uk

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