More than 100 people from across Glasgow have joined forces to create a new publication celebrating the physical and emotional journeys of adult learners.
‘Journeys’, a collection of short stories, poems and letters penned by adult learners at Glasgow’s Learning partnership programmes across the city, tells the story of participants’ own life-changing journeys through a range of different circumstances: from addiction to seeking asylum, travelling around Glasgow to visiting family and friends.
Councillor Archie Graham OBE, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Our libraries and community centres offer local residents the support they need to take part in adult learning classes on their doorstep, whether they need help with using computers, wish to brush up on their numeracy skills or are simply looking for a chance to build their confidence with the English language.
“The people of Glasgow take part in these sessions every day, gaining a further understanding of how to perform a whole range of activities, from everyday email correspondence with friends and family to searching for employment and travelling across the city.
“Through the city’s extensive learning provision, we’ve been able to see first-hand the impact that programmes such as adult literacy and numeracy classes can have in empowering our citizens, regardless of age or ability, to gain confidence in their own ability whilst also signposting them on to potential education and employment pathways.”
The programme of activities, devised to support learners to explore the benefits of improving literacy and numeracy skills, alongside support for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and computer basics, are delivered in conjunction with a range of learning providers across the Glasgow’s Learning partnership.
The partnership includes Glasgow Life, city colleges and a range of voluntary sector providers and offers learners the chance to engage with more than 250 different programmes each year in a range of venues city-wide.
For many, these classes offer a lifeline – a chance to meet people, build confidence and take the next step in life. Angus, aged 55, attended the adult literacy classes at Parkhead Library and is just one of the many people to benefit from the sessions:
“I got the chance to do the class through my work. I get stuck with some things, but I think I have improved a lot. It has helped me with work and also outside of work.
“I thought it was a brilliant idea to do the book. It was my first time writing for something like this and I’m delighted to be in it.”
“I would like to continue with the class. I really enjoyed it and I’m more confident now about being involved in other things.”
Omid, 28 agrees. Originally from Iran, Omid attended the ESOL class at Parkhead Nazarene. He said: ‘I’ve been in Glasgow now for about 11 months. I came to Glasgow on my own from Iran. Back home I was a boxer and also a lifeguard at the beach, rescuing people from the sea.
“My English was not good when I first came here, but I attended a class at Parkhead Nazarene and now it is much better. I’ve really enjoyed it and would like to do something like this again.”
Many of the original works featured in the Journeys publication were devised and performed at community engagement events during the 2016 Aye Write! festival. The 2017 festival will once again support individuals to develop their writing and conversational skills through a series of workshops and activities. The full Aye Write! festival programme will be announced in January 2017.
Glasgow's Learning Partnership promotes free adult literacy and numeracy (ALN) services to the people of Glasgow. Established in 2001, this strategic group guides the city's community learning and development, including raising awareness of ALN need and supporting learning throughout the city.
With courses tailored to the needs of the group, learners are able to access innovative study programmes across the city’s library and community centre portfolio. Working in small groups, tutors structure sessions around familiar materials and resources to help make the learning more relevant to everyday life. Trained volunteers are often on hand to support individuals to get the most out of the sessions.
More than 34,000 attendances were recorded at classes delivered in Glasgow’s libraries and community centres alone throughout 2016.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the range of learning activities on offer across the city, please visit www.glasgowslearning.org.uk or phone 0800 027 6402.