Jade Crowe, Senior Life Ready Coach for YMCA Norfolk, recently worked with a team of education professionals to write and publish research for the National Education Union.
The publication discusses alternate approaches to engaging young and adult learners in training and education, particularly those outside of mainstream education, using YMCA Norfolk’s Life Ready programme as a case study.
Life Ready is a project run by YMCA Norfolk across the charity’s housing services and youth provisions, with a focus on supporting participants on their journey towards independent living through learning valuable life skills.
As a training and education project, the young people involved in the programme have a diverse background, therefore the project has a very person-centred approach; ideal for evaluating for research purposes.
The programme is spilt into three smaller projects consisting of Life Ready Norwich, operating in the Norwich Housing Services; Life Ready Great Yarmouth, operating in YMCA Norfolk’s Great Yarmouth provisions, and Life Ready Gardening, a project focused on constructing the organisation’s housing site’s garden and educating participants on living a greener lifestyle and being more environmentally aware.
Courses and qualifications are tailored around participants individual aspirations, needs and career paths, and can be delivered both in-house and through external providers such as ASDAN.
In relation to the National Education Union research carried out, Life Ready was used to identify and evaluate new approaches to informal learning in light of the pandemic:
“If ever there was a time for doing things different it is now. Covid-19 is crying out for an engagement or re-engagement programme which should be assignment-based and focused on the learner rather than on set, weekly sessions.
It is a tailored learning resource, based on agreed, realistic targets that take account of the needs of each individual learner,” the report notes in its conclusion.
Download and read the full publication here.