When Di Bradley reshaped the Nightjar as a community pub for Worle in Somerset, she became the estate’s librarian, college head and community education adviser.
Six years on, Di, the landlady, praises her customers for helping the pub flourish as a business and a lifelong learning centre. Hundreds signed up for the free lending library, which encouraged many to read for the first time since school. Other activities include home safety, art and design, IT basics, and signing for the deaf – a challenging course completed by 11 learners.
“We started out trying to change people’s attitudes towards estate pubs and the education just grew,” Di said.
Many courses attracted funds from the Learning and Skills Council, and feedback from participants has shown learning was very effective. “Because we are a small community we talk to each other all the time, so we constantly know what the learners enjoy and what they don’t.”
Anna Lindsay, a regular, said, “I signed up for the short sign language course last summer and it has made a huge difference to me, as it has enabled me to communicate with my autistic nephew and will help me communicate with deaf patients in my new career as a nurse.”