We believe that learning never stops – whatever stage of our lives we may be at. For us, education is a much broader pursuit than the activities we are accustomed to in schools and other formal learning settings. We run numerous and diverse lifelong learning community programmes for all ages. Here are some examples of the projects we have been involved with.
Mali Enterprising Leaders
The Ubele Initiative and Locality’s report – A Place Called Home – highlighted an urgent need for BAME communities to be offered targeted support, advice, capacity building and investment to enable them to retain and build sustainable community business models. Responding to this report, Mali Enterprising Leaders was the first community business pilot project that sought to create community business opportunities, intergenerationally, within BAME community organisations in the UK.
- Increased BAME organisations’ awareness of current and emerging trends in asset development and community enterprise in London and Manchester.
- Contributed to the sustainability of existing BAME-led organisations with community assets through increasing their capacity to establish and run community-owned businesses.
- Offered tailored community business support to five BAME community-based organisations in London and Manchester.
- Contributed to the growth of the next generation of BAME community entrepreneurs aged 18 to 30 years.
- Supported organisations in developing and testing community enterprise ideas.
- Commissioned BAME-led support providers to deliver local, tailored and targeted support services directly to and within BAME organisations and communities, and introduce them into the Power to Change enterprise eco-system.
MEaP was one of the Manchester participants in this initiative. We also participated in two Erasmus training events in Berlin (Theory of U) and Athens (Appreciative Leadership), both designed to widen strategic thinking skills.
A partnership between MEaP and Highway Hope, this community employability training project supported disadvantaged people in learning and developing new employability skills. Leading to sustainable opportunities within their local community, the project benefited those who were long-term unemployed lone parents seeking to re-enter the labour market. Participants initially undertook training in basic numeracy, literacy and Information Computer Technology (ICT) skills. They then identified personal goals and devised their personal action plans, which included up to six months volunteer work experience within one of our other initiatives. This work experience included working in a charity shop, gardening and environmental and recycling programmes. The enhanced employability skills that participants gained included stronger communication skills, and the growth in confidence that comes when local people give back to their local community and become active citizens.
We aimed to facilitate the learning journey specifically for people with disabilities or chronic health conditions. These included people with learning difficulties, mental health issues, drug or alcohol dependency issues, lone parents, people from black and ethnic minorities and women. During the project, 100 individuals benefited.
Mental health project
In this project, we developed a local health and wellbeing hub to support people self-identifying as having mental health issues.
- Training in life skills for 30 hard-to-reach adults with mental health-related problems, encouraging social inclusion and mental health awareness.
- Six months’ voluntary work experience in sales, gardening, administration and logistics, and support for those looking for paid employment to improve their physical and mental health.
- Career support, CV writing skills and interview techniques to facilitate access to employment and independent living.
- Access to sport and leisure activities to increase social inclusion.
- Opportunities for community engagement, a social network for effective inclusion and referral services through our partnerships with other organisations.
The project helped participants to:
- Develop self confidence in contributing to their community and live independently.
- Nurture community relationships and maintain meaningful social lives.
- Engage in social networks within their community.
Participants felt valued, comfortable and confident in taking part in enterprise and community activities. Their stronger confidence improved their capacity to fully participate in integrated multidisciplinary training covering employability, music, art and integrated culture awareness that challenged stigma and discrimination.
Read our research into our project’s wellbeing benefits here
Black Training and Enterprise Group
In 2015, the Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG) celebrated 25 years of working across the public, private and voluntary sectors championing national and local action to reduce racial inequalities. To mark this important milestone, BTEG organised three Inspire and Challenge lectures featuring speakers who delivered new and future-facing perspectives on criminal justice, education and business.
In Manchester, we were involved in the Inspire and Challenge lecture Business Instinct: Young Ethnic Minorities must be the Future Producers and not just Consumers. The guest speakers were Professor Monder Ram of Birmingham University, young entrepreneur Kamilah Francis and Jeremy Crook OBE, CEO of BTEG.
A huge success, the event was supported by the Grace Incorporation Faith Trust (GIFT) and the Critical Race and Ethnicity Research Cluster of Manchester Metropolitan University.
Journey to a successful career:
4 inspiring case studies
Marking the launch of MEaP and forming part of a GATEway2Success Open Day in 2016, MEaP and Highway Hope Chair, Esther Oludipe, presented four case studies outlining the inspirational journeys of four individuals from reliance on the Job Seeker’s Allowance to full time employment.
training summer school
As part of our ongoing research into community education and its impact on urban communities, MEaP supported the Grace Incorporation Faith Trust (GIFT) in running a SMILE (Simply Make It Look Easy) basketball-based summer school at Manchester Metropolitan University.
A great success, the summer school used basketball as an accessible and enjoyable entry point for learning the soft skills needed for gaining employment, as well as improving life skills in general. The initiative was linked to our research into enterprise education and its ability to build resilience in BAME communities.
In September and November 2020, we hosted two online events that were led by young people from Brazil and the UK, aged 16 – 25yrs . The sessions explored what education, employment and self development meant to the young people during the COVID-19 crisis. The September session was led by the Brazilian cohort to introduce the group to life for young people in Brazil. The November session was led by the UK cohort to introduce the group to life for young people in the United Kingdom.
We worked in partnership with the KORI Youth Charity and The Federal University of the Amazon (UFAM). These sessions formed an introduction to the two diverse sets of communities with a view towards developing a global youth work programme, exploring Personal, Social, Health and Economic education in a global context. We hope to repeat this programme, adding our other partners from The Gambia, Nigeria, Botswana and Namibia to our collaborative mix. This is the cornerstone of our Global Citizenship education programme.
Please contact us for further details as we will put together a bespoke package for you.