• Sally Gleaves, Leisure Learning Manager

The vital role of adult learning during lockdown

Updated: Aug 20, 2020

From writing poetry to attending online yoga classes, it is plain to see the crucial role adult learning has had during lockdown for Worcestershire’s residents.

We already knew before lockdown that adult community education has significant impact on lives, supporting people to change their lives for the better. As soon as lockdown hit, we knew it was imperative for learning to continue in some form, not only to provide vital skills to our learners but also to create a place of safety and support during the Covid-19 pandemic to combat isolation.

Along with many other providers across the UK, here at Adult Learning in Worcestershire we transformed our learning programme from face-to-face learning to online classrooms pretty much over night! A new virtual offer was produced along with continuation of the courses with existing learners. Tutors quickly adapted to this sudden change with gusto, planning and coordinating online zoom sessions requires a lot of extra work. But it was totally worthwhile.

For many learners the courses provided by Adult Learning in Worcestershire have been valuable for social interaction, connections, mental health and keeping active during lockdown. The tutors have been a vital lifeline, keeping tabs on their learner’s mental health and giving opportunities for further learning or support through signposting to different agencies.

Many Worcestershire residents, indeed people across the UK have seen the lockdown as an opportunity to upskill or take up a new hobby, the Leisure Learning Programme offered by Adult in Learning Worcestershire has offered a variety of courses throughout lockdown, such as languages photography and much more. The leisure courses have been incredibly well received with learners logging in from around the county, especially the photography class, who have even produced a digital exhibition of the photographs that were taken during lockdown. https://www.learninworcestershire.ac.uk/photography-exhibition

“Paul went beyond expectations on this course, downloading manuals for each of our cameras and teaching well beyond the allotted two hours per session (by agreement). His lessons are well planned and coherent, and I learnt so much! I shall miss the course and hope to go on another before too long. I think Zoom was an excellent means of delivery, certainly for a small group and I'm hoping to do more courses in this way in future. In normal times I travel quite a lot but could continue to do the course, regardless of where I am.”
Maggie, Photography Learner, 2020.

Always looking to the future, the Adult Learning in Worcestershire team are now busy planning several courses and workshops to support those who have been made redundant, who are coming to the end of their furlough schemes or even those who are looking to upskill or take up a new hobby. We are inviting you to further your learning, it is never too late to learn! We have launched a new digital business skills suite covering topics like self-employment, web design and social media marketing along with employability skills, English and Maths courses. Adult Learning in Worcestershire has a key role in supporting Worcestershire’s residents in both their mental health and in response to the new economic challenges we are yet to face.

How has participating in learning helped you during lockdown?

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