Group of volunteers' hands in a huddle

Lights! Community! Action!

9 September 2021
Posted in: Courses

— Main points

  • This year City Lit launched the Level 1 community action/community project planning course in partnership with NCFE national Awarding Organisation.
  • The project planning course helped students develop their community projects.
  • Here you can read about what two of the learners had to say about their experiences

Earlier this year we piloted a new course in the Care and Support department. Based on feedback we received over the last few years, it was clear to us that our students had a desire to make a difference in their community and were brimming with ideas for projects.

The appetite for community action

Working with one of our existing awarding bodies, NCFE, we delivered a course in personal and social development, with a focus on community action.

During the course learners reflected on the community work they had previously undertaken and what they had learnt from it. From this they developed an action plan for their own personal development. For example, some learners felt they needed to become more confident in developing contacts and others felt they needed to improve on their IT skills to build a website or social media page.

After action plans were made, the learners worked collaboratively and shared their ideas about how they could help their community. At this point, the seeds of ideas were beginning to germinate and grow.

View the course: Level 1 community action/community project planning

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Developing a community project from scratch

The learners started to think about budgeting and marketing for their projects, or who they could ask for support or funding from. They looked at other examples of community projects, both successful and not successful, to see what they could learn from them.

At the end of the course three learners produced presentations about their projects to each other and to me (the Coordinator), the Head of Programme and the college Principal. They delivered their presentations with poise and grace and I am looking forward to seeing their projects grow.

View the course: Level 1 community action/community project planning

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Testimonials from graduating students

Here is what two of the learners had to say about their experiences.

Mark, Community Poetry Club

“I am super happy that I started and completed Carole’s Community Action course with City Lit.

To start with, there were a lot of modules about self-development which were good, but I wasn’t so sure what it had to with setting up a community project, but fortunately, it really did tie in well with the course.

The second half of the course was very much about the nitty gritty of setting up and running a community/grass roots project, of which I was able to take home many new skills such as issues of budgeting, funding, marketing, choosing the right status of the project (as in CIC, Ltd, small grassroots charity, etc) and actually running my project.

From the skills I accrued from the course, I am now running a community poetry club with my Housing Association which started last week and next week we are expecting a minimum of 11 participants.

With our chat about setting these grassroots projects up from scratch and turning them into a bona fide social enterprise, I am now on the look-out for potential business partners to make this a real project which developed from idea that started in the shower to something which could tangibly benefit my local community.

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Kathy, Platonic Touch Project

“Bringing together the world of platonic touch is a big venture. Changing people’s perceptions about touch and educating that contact does not require to have a sexual expectation at the end of an exchange. We can just cuddle, or hug or just be at peace in each other’s arms. There is a big middle ground I want to explore and show its healing benefits.

The course was great and it helped me identify the gaps in my knowledge. So I now know clearly what I need but because at this point I am not a company. Please consider doing a level 2 course?

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Do you have a community action idea?

If this sounds like something you would like to do or you have a great community action idea, please look at the Level 1 community action/community project planning course and other similar courses in the Social Care and Support area of the City Lit website, or email Joanna.akram@citylit.ac.uk to apply for this course in 2022.

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