By delivering services that are community based and relationship led, we look to form positive ties with our communities and in doing so, allow children and young people to gain confidence in doing this themselves through our learning support.
As part of our learning support, we provide community outreach activities which are centred around our new base at LOVE Gorgie Farm, formerly Gorgie City Farm in Edinburgh.
These facilities act as a base where we can deliver animal therapies, counselling services and education in one location.
We also have existing links within communities where we have established partnerships with community facilities and schools, that we can use to deliver our learning support.
As a charity and a social enterprise, we are aware of our responsibility to raise the capacity of our communities and sector.
Community Values – We promote positive citizenship and values of respect and responsibility to endure throughout life to produce lasting community benefits.
Staying Local – We support local supplier companies and organisations where possible. We currently sponsor a number of local projects in our community in the delivery of good causes.
Supporting Local Jobs and Enterprises – We support the establishment of different social enterprises across Scotland. Thanks to the assistance of our social partners at the LOVE Group we are able to provide new jobs, knowledge, capacity and opportunities.
Supporting Children’s Futures – We are active in many schools in Scotland to facilitate and deliver enterprise days, jobs fairs and career orientated talks for pupils. We also host pupil visits at our offices to enable young people to experience a real working environment.
Community Inter-Generational Learning – We encourage the use of digital methods and provide additional support and visits to assist with digital access and capabilities. We utilise sessions where young people mentor older people in using digital technology and understanding the power of the internet in finding information and empowering citizens.
Cooperation – We network extensively with third sector organisations, share knowledge and disseminate learning that can be applied by others to the benefit of many more people and communities. This encourages ambition and innovation in communities at a wider level.
LOVE Learning delivers a bespoke employability package with and provides training delivered by professionals with over 60 years of combined experience within the training and recruitment sector. This allows us to train people to the best of their capabilities and realise their potential in full.
Our employability plans are tailored for each participant where skills and aptitudes are empowered through a unique learning model, tailored training and Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) accredited qualifications.
We provide realistic and achievable work experiences and training for all participants by utilising our existing relationships with employers and businesses across varying sectors.
This includes engagement with employers and training, and we maximise this work experience opportunity by including a certification of the employability skills developed through SQA recognised Employability Awards.
All participants carry out an induction that includes baseline assessments that are used in the programmes’ evaluation. They are evaluated by both soft indicators like self-esteem and confidence; as well as hard indicators like SQA accreditations and engagement.
- Educational Model – Our services are based upon a unique educational model based on the ideal of bringing together social care services and education.
- Employability for Each – We deliver bespoke packages with Employability for Each and provide training to help people reach the best of their capabilities and realise their potential in full.
- SQA Centre and Individual Training Plans – We provide every candidate an Individual Training Plan tailored to meet the individual needs of the candidate and containing the guidance and support that will enable and encourage progression to sustained employment, employment with training or further education.
We deliver funded training programmes for people from designated communities to support their inclusion and attainment in close partnership with Skills Development Scotland and the Department of Work and Pensions.
These programmes are aimed at people from all ages who are looking to engage in our country’s care, social justice and criminal justice systems.
Our partnership opportunities make a significant contribution to the community through improved literacy and numeracy, reduction in offending and antisocial behaviours and reduction in alcohol and drugs misuse. Our programmes also empower local people, increasing confidence, self-esteem and improved mental health.
We also engage with GPs, social work, schools, community learning, housing associations, childcare groups, sports and hobby associations. By working in partnership with these organisations, individuals can be supported and referred to employability services.
We also provide a free mentoring service as part of our Advocacy Project. This supports local parents and carers to liaise with local authorities and agencies to address problems and issues which, if left unresolved, can bring about family conflict and poor relations within families.
CASE STUDY: LOVE Learning’s work with the community of Lanarkshire
LOVE Learning works with individuals who often struggle with or have completely missed out of mainstream education. They may be in or moving through the care or custodial systems and are often unable to manage group settings for reasons relating to a variety of behavioural or mental health needs. They often have poor relationships with family or peer groups and have poor self-esteem, feeling extremely vulnerable.
Tackling these challenges creates community benefits and brightens the individuals’ future prospects and possibilities, raising morale and optimism about what success looks like for all stakeholders, partners and members of the community.
Over the past three years we have made a significant contribution to raising the capacity of Lanarkshire by supporting almost 500 individuals to achieve positive outcomes and destinations from which:
- 312 achieved accredited learning qualifications, including
- 64 progressing to full time education or full-time training and apprenticeships
- 123 attaining full time employment
- 57 attaining part time employment.
Our work has helped reduce exclusion in schools and support a high number of pupils to improve their attainment levels.
Delivering contracts to schools through the Scottish Attainment Challenge and Pupil Equity Fund allowing us to bring significant economic and social benefits, increasing capacity and resilience in communities.
In delivering a number of high value contracts, LOVE Learning has engaged with more than 40 volunteers to support the delivery of our services, who have been encouraged in progressing into full time sustainable employment within the community and voluntary sector. Many have taken up positions with local forums and management committees.
This has improved the capacity of local projects, organisations and the sector, with inclusion of more local people in community activities and community planning. It has also supported local people to gain paid employment in Lanarkshire, making a positive contribution to the local economy.
The ripples of positive community benefit from these achievements is significant and multi-faceted to promote more inclusive growth.
At LOVE Learning we value the resource of volunteers and we actively engage with local volunteers to the projects we run to foster identity and purpose.
We have used the experience of these projects, feedback, focus groups and the volunteers to develop and improve our services. Our current proposal has been developed from the service users and aims to maximise the realisation of our communities.
A high number of our unpaid volunteer mentors are retired professionals from sectors including teaching, the health service, social work, law and local government. In developing and enabling this service, we are providing a high level of expertise and experience to the community at no cost.
We also provide a volunteer youth peer service which supports young people in many ways. This has facilitated individuals to move away from low level criminality and anti-social behaviour and has contributed to improving the safety of local residents.
VOLUNTEERS CASE STUDY – North Lanarkshire Criminal Justice Project
Our North Lanarkshire Criminal Justice Project to improve numeracy and literacy was delivered by volunteer teachers or residents.
We used libraries, community centres and social work buildings to facilitate this learning. This ensured that inclusion was maximised.
We worked in partnership with Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire, Volunteer Scotland and Volunteer Wicki and ran social media campaigns locally to recruit volunteers and ensure a diverse range of support and peer mentors. This encouraged greater levels of civic and community involvement.
Our volunteers were individuals who had previously been involved within the criminal justice themselves. This allowed them to gain precious experience within a social care project and use their experience to help others.
This fostered a sense of purpose and empowerment that took their negative experience and turned it into a positive for their local community.