The Liverpool Community Learning Champions Project recruits and trains local people to act as role models to motivate and encourage their friends, family and other members of their community to take up learning or volunteering opportunities and to identify learner needs. It is managed by the Adult Learning Service in partnership with community organisations in some of Liverpool’s most deprived areas, and targets adults with few or no qualifications and skills.
Over 150 CLCs have been recruited and trained. To engage learners, they have targeted places where people go about their everyday lives, including shopping centres, school gates, libraries and doctors’ surgeries. Altogether, the CLCs have had a major impact, engaging over 3,000 learners across the city. Evidence shows that there has been an marked increase in participation rates from many groups termed ‘hard to reach’ and from those living in the most deprived areas of the city. More than 80 per cent are taking part in adult learning for the first time or after some time away.
Many champions started out with their own issues, such as long-term unemployment and poor education, and this helps them empathise with others. Sixty-eight CLCs have gained jobs via the project and many more have gained qualifications.