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Grants of up to £35,000 available for community learning projects

Community organisations across Somerset are being invited to apply for grants of up to £35,000 apiece for community learning projects.

The Community Learning team at Somerset Skills & Learning (SS&L) supports programmes which maximise access to community learning across Somerset. SS&L is committed to widening participation in learning across the county and, via funding provided by the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), up to £35,000 per project is now available to organisations across Somerset. 

The Stronger Communities Fund welcomes applications from community groups or organisations that support people of different ages and backgrounds to acquire a new skill, or to re-connect with learning to improve health & well-being or to prepare them for progression to vocational courses to support entry into the workplace or further learning. 

Justin Speirs, who heads up the Community Learning Partnership team at SS&L, said: “It’s a privilege to be able to fund the delivery of such a range of learning projects across the County. This is about truly changing lives through learning.

“The learning and education delivered by these projects engages groups of society who might otherwise not be able to access learning via more conventional means, offering genuine social value to our communities across Somerset.”

Last year, SS&L funded a range projects that provided learning opportunities for more than 2,000 learners.  One such project that has been funded by SS&L was Edventure in Frome, offering courses to support diverse young adults (18-35) to take initiative and steps towards building a positive livelihood for themselves and contribute to building a strong, resilient local community. 

The project engaged with adult learners, providing real life business start-up experience to the students. In terms of outcomes from the programme, 16 learners progressed into further learning, including apprenticeships, traineeships and higher education courses, 27 learners found part-time and full-time work and 58 have gone on to become self-employed, seven learners went on to various volunteering roles. 

SS&L has also funded projects with Magdalen Farm in Winsham, the Conquest Centre in Taunton, Eastville Project Space in Yeovil, Feed Avalon in Glastonbury, The Preston Primary Academy Trust and Chard Watch CIC, to name but a few. 

The Stronger Communities Fund is now open to receive applications for projects planning to start delivery from August 2019. The closing date for this round is Monday 8th July 2019 at 5pm. 

If you are interested in applying to the Stronger Communities Fund, please contact Peter Stolze by email at or call on 01749 677786 for an application pack. We look forward to hearing from you.

SS&L is a leading adult education and apprenticeship training provider in Somerset, with five centres across the county.

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