Supporting communities and their citizens and creating positive impacts on lives.


Community-led Learning supports the development of peoples’ skills, health, financial security and career prospects by offering learning opportunities to those who feel they need it most.

From improving interview skills, family play days, health and well-being classes, to overcoming difficult challenges as a learner takes big steps towards a new career, our aim is to bring quality and relevant training to local communities, widen participation and transform lives.

To ensure community-led learning is sustainable, the proposal is to set up volunteer-led, independent learning hubs that widens participation in learning and supports progression. Local residents can transform their own communities via a learning project that positively impacts on their sense of self-worth, connectedness and sense of purpose.

These projects have also been shortlisted at a national level. At the 2019 Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Awards and the TES FE Awards, they were nominated for the Skills and Education Group Award for Social Mobility and Widening Participation.

Watch our Community-led Learning videos below to get an insight into this initiative.

First Step Learning Hub: Part 1

First Step Learning Hub: Part 2

Working in partnership with you.


In considering how community-based learning can be sustained, the proposal is to set up volunteer-led, independent learning hubs that widens participation in learning and supports progression. Local residents can transform their own communities via a learning project that impacts on their sense of wellbeing, connectedness and sense of purpose.

We build lasting partnerships with residents, local services, agencies and learning providers to help maximise resources, meet priorities and contribute to positive community relations.

Our list of partners continues to grow and includes: homelessness charities, voluntary organisations, mental health agencies, local authority community teams, housing associations, Citizens Advice Bureau, and public health organisations.


Start your journey towards making a massive difference in your community:


The first step toward a Community-based Learning Hub will involve offering workshops or short courses in the local area.


To date, the Knowing Me course has been the first step toward identifying local residents interested in setting up a Hub for their community and surrounding area.

The Knowing Me course provides learners with an opportunity to reflect on how they have come to view themselves, their capabilities and why they might have low self-esteem. The course handouts provide a useful toolkit that the learner can refer to time and again to help them to realise their own unique qualities and attributes.

"I feel I have gained a more productive mindset, my anxiety has lowered as I have gained valuable tools to deal with different social situations. Looking at my past experiences has made me realise I can alter the way I process these emotions to enable me to move forward without fear of change."
Learner who completed the Knowing Me course, January 2019

The content includes learning materials on Mindfulness, CBT, Emotional Literacy, Assertiveness and tips on how to challenge negative thinking. The pack also includes a set of inspirational quotes to continue to remind them why they matter.

The Community Learning Champions volunteering course teaches essential skills relevant to working in the community and leading projects and others.


The role of the Community Learning Champion is to encourage volunteers to get involved in Community Action Hubs, to find out what learning needs there are in the community and to act as a broker between the community and learning providers.

Topics include exploring the role of a Community Learning Champion, such as identifying personal skills and qualities; the values and principles of community development; and identifying who may face barriers to community involvement and ways to overcome them

There are also modules on effective communication skills, including assertiveness, body language and active listening skills; managing our emotions and conflict resolution skills; mentoring skills; understanding and challenging discrimination and developing an effective team.

On completion of the course, Champions can begin to work on the launch of their learning hub. The skills acquired throughout this process support their future aspirations and offers an opportunity to demonstrate key transferable skills.

To find out more about becoming a Champion, contact Sue Funge:

01235 555 585 | sue.funge@abingdon-witney.ac.uk

Community-led Learning Hubs have the potential to bring people together in a community, reduce isolation and improving engagement and well-being.


These Hubs are sustainable as they are run by volunteers. Some volunteers may progress on to other things, new volunteers are then recruited, and the Hub can become embedded in the local community.

The Community Learning Champions are responsible for identifying opportunities to set up a local Hubs from which projects can be run, and will identify a name, logo and strapline for their Hub and bring together the community to help.

Each volunteer will go through a process before joining and will have development opportunities throughout their experience, including:

  • Completing a short interview and sign an agreement to confirm they are willing to contribute a few hours a week to the community project
  • Having a Personal Development Plan (PDP) which will be regularly reviewed to ensure the experience of volunteering in the community is also supporting their longer-term goals and aspirations.
  • Peer mentoring each other.

Volunteers will actively seek support from local organisations and agencies who have a stake in learning provision in the local community. They will be invited to sit on the management committee in an advisory, supportive capacity as ownership and voting rights remain with the Community Learning Champions who will be elected as Officers at the inaugural meeting of the Hub when the constitution is adopted.

All the paperwork and policies the Hub will need is provided along with the constitution as part of this overall package. The volunteers will need these to enable them to open a bank account and apply for small grants to cover essential running costs.

To find out more about setting up a Hub, contact Sue Funge:

01235 555 585 | sue.funge@abingdon-witney.ac.uk

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