Lifelong Learning Project
More than 200 unpaid carers have seen big improvements in their job prospects and personal lives through an innovative Lifelong Learning Project run since 2001 by the Carers’ Support Centre in North Lincolnshire.
Staff use a personalised approach, addressing the many barriers carers face and identifying the
most appropriate learning options. Learning opportunities are wide ranging, from music tuition and stress management workshops to IT skills and vocational qualifications. Carers receive financial help for learning activities and transport costs, and care workers are provided, where necessary, to give carers the time off.
“Lack of confidence has been identified by the Lifelong Learning Project as a key barrier to accessing learning”, said Polly Seward, lifelong learning assistant at the centre. “When carers find a learning experience they enjoy, they will then have confidence and motivation to progress, for example, accessing more advanced courses.” Follow-up support is also given to help carers advance or diversify their learning or progress in their careers.
Kay Allen, who cares for her husband Len who has arthritis and diabetes, found the Lifelong Learning Project support life changing. “I have gained a great deal already through the project and, with my new-found confidence, I look forward to continuing to progress.”