LGBT Skills Academy

DO IT? Well, we DID IT! And so can YOU! Learn how to deliver a work programme like our LGBT Skills Academy project.

Following the success of our recent project funded by the Adult & Community Learning Fund, we wanted to share how we did what we did, in order to support other groups and organisations in delivering similar targeted work for LGB&T communities.

Check out the information provided, or for more information, contact annie.emery@lgf.org.uk.

Project Overview

We aimed to engage people in learning, particularly those who are not currently involved in learning, in order to encourage them to continue learning and developing their skills.  We wanted to improve people’s confidence, skills, and ability to positively contribute to their communities.

To achieve these aims we ran 24 informal learning sessions, on a range of different topics.  Our partners Gaydio delivered 12 sessions (on topics such as radio presenting and radio production), and the LGF delivered 12 sessions, all lasting three hours.

The Manchester College, our other partner, were involved in delivering the sessions, and also producing a ‘Learner Pack’ which will sign-posted participants to further learning and volunteering opportunities.

Our target learners were lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGB&T) people, particularly targeting those who may not usually participate in learning activities, by providing an LGB&T-affirmative environment where LGB&T people can develop their confidence, interests and skills.

We did not have any specific areas of learning, as the aim was to provide a varied range of interest based opportunities to engage new people in learning (though all the 12 sessions Gaydio led on were around radio production, presentation and journalism).  Sessions held included:

  • Radio Presentation
  • Radio Production
  • Radio Journalism
  • Bike Maintenance
  • LGBT Heritage
  • Massage & Aromatherapy Skills
  • Healthy Cookery Class
  • Jewelry Making
  • DJ Skills
  • Creative Writing Skills
  • Photography Course
  • DIY Skills
  • Photoshop Skills

Project objectives and outcomes for learners, and the difference made

Objective 1 - To deliver a range of skills development opportunities, focusing on LGB&T people.

Outcome / impact

Participants will have:
- Improved skills
- Increased confidence
- Greater access to further learning/ development opportunities.

Quantity

We expect up to 8-10 participants to attend each of the 24 sessions, meaning that up to 240 participants will benefit from our project (though some learners will attend more than one session).

Achievements and the difference made to the learners, the community, and partner organisations

We ran all 24 sessions of the project, providing 229 places to 149 people, with an average of 10 attendees at each 3 hour session, meaning we have provided 687learner hours over the project

99% were either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the sessions.

99% felt that the event was ‘easy’ or ‘very easy’ to access.

98% felt that the event met or exceeded their expectations.

97% reported improved skills, feeling more informed

85% reported increased confidence

92% reported that they have a greater interest in accessing further learning opportunities.

Follow up conversations revealed that people really valued the fact that sessions took place in a non-judgemental place with non-judgemental tutors, where their sexual orientation was not a negative issue, and many stated this supported their improved confidence.


Objective 2 - To promote opportunities for further learning (including volunteering) through provision of relevant information.

Outcome / impact

Participants will be more motivated and better enabled to engage longer-term in new activities which will further enhance their skills and develop their interest in learning and development.

Quantity

All participants will be provided with a learner pack to promote further opportunities. Each participant will also be encouraged to take on a future volunteer role in their field of engagement or interest, with either LGF or Gaydio.

Achievements and the difference made to the learners, the community, and partner organisations

100% of participants have been given a learner pack informing about further development and learning opportunities (such as information on other courses, details on how to volunteer, etc.).

92% reported greater interest in accessing other learning opportunities as a direct result of their engagement.

82% said that they intend to undertake further activity as a result of attending our workshops.  For example, 85% said they intend to attend other Skills Academy Workshops; 61% intended to attend other learning sessions with a different organisation; 40% intended to attend accredited course (other than literacy, language or numeracy); 17% intended to attend a literacy, language or numeracy accredited course.

Volunteers have been utilised throughout the project, and 49% said they wanted to volunteer as a result of the project.


Objective 3 - To develop a working relationship between the partners involved & to identify ways the project can achieve a sustainable long-term future.

Outcome / impact

The project will be strengthened through utilising the expertise of partners, through sharing best practice. Partners will also be able to explore future joint opportunities to continue learning provision.

Quantity

All three partners will be involved, and future opportunities will be explored by March 2012.

Achievements and the difference made to the learners, the community, and partner organisations

Working with the Manchester College has enabled sessions to be led by professionals who are trained in their chosen fields, and experienced in facilitating learning.

Partnership work with Gaydio has been extremely successful and significantly strengthened our relationship.

Evaluation of all learners has found that the majority of learners would not be prepared/able to pay for workshops in the future, and of those that did say they would/are able to pay, the average cost indicated was £5, which would not cover costs. Due to this information we are seeking funding from elsewhere to ensure the sessions remain accessible. 


Project Timetable Summary

 

               

Skills Workshops Promotion

 Aug
2011

 Sept
2011

 Oct
2011

 Nov
2011

 Dec
2011

 Jan
2012

 Feb
2012

 Mar
2012

Write promotional materials

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design  posters, postcards, adverts (print & radio)

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribute resources across Greater Manchester

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skills Workshops Delivery

 Aug
2011

 Sept
2011

 Oct
2011

 Nov
2011

 Dec
2011

 Jan
2012

 Feb
2012

 Mar
2012

Produce Skills Workshop Schedule

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delivery of 24 learning sessions

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Write and produce participant evaluations

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data input of participant evaluations

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Create learner packs

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribute learner packs at sessions

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volunteering opportunities

 Aug
2011

 Sept
2011

 Oct
2011

 Nov
2011

 Dec
2011

 Jan
2012

 Feb
2012

 Mar
2012

Develop Vounteer Role Profiles

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Promote Volunteering Opportunities at workshops

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Management & Finance

 Aug
2011

 Sept
2011

 Oct
2011

 Nov
2011

 Dec
2011

 Jan
2012

 Feb
2012

 Mar
2012

Project Initiation Meeting

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly Project Delivery Meetings

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Input monitoring information

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Project Evaluation and completion of Funder Reports

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

X

Develop sustainability plan

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

Financial Resources Required

The funding required to run a project like this will depend on your organisations costing, and particular aspects of the project, such as what learning session topics you would like to provide, where you want to provide them, and whether it will be led by paid staff or volunteers.

  • Things that you might want to be looking at when developing a budget include:
  • Staff time or professional fees (for workshop leaders, and for overall project management)
  • Room Hire for sessions
  • Refreshments for sessions
  • Volunteer expenses
  • Promotion (online/print/radio)
  • Travel expenses for learners
  • Access contingency (such as a BSL signer or respite care costs)
  • Development of Learner Packs signposting to development opportunities.
  • Administrative costs (i.e. photocopying, post, etc).
  • Project Overhead costs such as contributions towards utilities, governance, premises costs, etc.

Promotional materials

We produced a wide range of promotional resources including online coverage, printed resources (postcards and posters, and coverage in outnorthwest magazine), and radio advertising.

When producing your promotional resources, it is useful to have in mind your target audience not only when creating and designing the materials, but also when distributing them.

Learning and Volunteer Resources and evaluation tools

The Manchester College provided all learning resources for the sessions, and we produced some evaluation tools and specific documents for our volunteers…

Volunteer Poster Workshop leaders briefing Evaluation
Volunteering poster Workshop leaders briefing Workshop evaluation form
Download .pdf Download .pdf Download .pdf

Volunteer Role Profiles

word document word document word document
Volunteering role profile
Marketing Support
Volunteering role profile
Office Support
Volunteering role profile
Workshop Delivery Support
Download .doc Download .doc Download .doc

Top Tips

  • Make sure you budget effectively for all aspects of the project – get quotes in advance, and don’t underestimate the administrative time and costs a project like this takes to co-ordinate.
  • Think about working in partnership with other organisations – it allows you to utilise the skills of other groups, and offers real opportunities to deliver innovative work through thinking outside the box. If working in partnership, ensure all partners are aware of the requirements and able to meet these.
  • Develop a learner recruitment strategy, to ensure that as many people will benefit from the project as possible – often the challenge is in promoting sessions rather than organising the sessions themselves.
  • Think about what you want your outcomes to be, and have this in mind throughout all stages of project development and delivery.  Think about how you will evaluate your project, and ensure you develop the tools to capture this.
  • Make sure learning sessions are well staffed to ensure learners have support if needed.
  • Follow a project plan, and go through this on a regular basis to ensure you are on schedule.

If you would like more information on this project, then please contact skills@lgf.org.uk or contact Annie on 08453 30 30 30.