The achievements of 11 Community Learning Champions have been recognised by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), which has published their stories as part of National Volunteers Week. The week, which ran between June 1st and 7th, is an annual celebration of the contributions volunteers of all kinds make to the lives of people in the UK.
The publication, Voices of Community Learning Champions, follows the experiences of 11 people from a wide variety of backgrounds, who all have a passion for adult learning in common. It describes their journeys and the impact that being a Community Learning Champion has had on their lives and those of others.
“The personal testimonies in this publication demonstrate the transformative effect that learning and volunteering can have on the lives of adults,” said Helen Plant, NIACE programme manager. She added: “As the evidence repeatedly confirms, even adults who are among the most excluded from learning can re-engage with encouragement and support from trusted peers whose experiences they can relate to.”
According to NIACE, volunteering in the educational sector includes work in communities, Student Ambassadors in Higher Education and Learning Advocates in the workplace. It is also hoped that events like National Volunteers Week will help policymakers to understand the many benefits of the Community Learning Champions’ approach to supporting people in education, from community-led learning opportunities to home study courses that can be pursued while in employment.