University of Glasgow Activate Course Underway in Arrochar and Garelochhead

The second University of Glasgow’s Activate course run by CLS has started in the Centre 81 in Garelochhead. The introduction to community development course is aimed at people of all ages who are active in their communities and would like to improve their skills and use the experience to work on projects that will benefit the whole community.

We work in partnership with other youth work organisations who were offered a place on the 50-hour Activate course. This year, the groups participating are Route 81 from Garelochhead, Arrochar Youth Project and Ten2Ten West Dunbartonshire.University of Glasgow Activate

We are half way through the course with 21 people attending seven sessions to date. All of the participants are volunteers who are matching the same number of hours that they receive in the 50 hour course to pay back volunteer hours to their respective communities;  that is a 50 hour course generating 50 hours from each participant to volunteer for their youth work projects.

Some of these volunteers haven’t taken up any learning since school and at first a lot of nerves were displayed but now we are half way through and people are becoming more confident with the popular education method and the dialogue is flowing. Subjects covered so far are values and principles of community learning and development, team work, group dynamics, preferred learning styles, discrimination and globalisation. A lot of views and controversial opinions have been debated utilising the knowledge which is demonstrating that the participants are good at grasping concepts.

The Arrochar Youth Pproject have kindly helped with the hospitality while the course takes place at the Three Villages Hall and Centre 81 in Garelochhead have provided their hall at a discounted rate for the duration of the course.

Andy Crawford from the local community police has visited the training and took part in the “getting to know you” games, which all helped set a scene for the group to feel safe and free to learn and try out expressing their opinions and debating skills. Each group is conducting a community investigation on a chosen subject and this will be getting carried out in the coming weeks.

On completion of the course, participants will be invited for an interview for the University of Glasgow’s Community Learning and Development degree course and many will access further training or employment.

If anyone is interested in using the Activate course for training of their staff or volunteers and in more information about the course, please get in touch with Janette Devlin, out Training and Volunteer Development Coordinator, on 0141 952 4382 or janette@comlinks.org.uk.

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