Other Ways to Learn Fest: a buzzing day of connections & Genie Magic!

By July 13, 2016 Features No Comments

Recently Superact hosted a networking and sharing session for alternative adult learning agencies in Devon. The day event brought together members of Learn Devon, the Men’s Shed Association, Exeter YMCA, St. Sidwell’s Community Centre, OrganicArts and other related organisations along with interested members of the public. We shared information on our best practice Erasmus+ project On the Move, and our resident Story Coach and Aladdin Project Manager spoke on the use of storytelling in intergenerational skill sharing, before running a taster workshop in the art. The gathering was a buzz of shared energy, ideas and information, with many connections made and thoughts on future partnerships mooted. Read on to find out more:

No tractors, no cows, no thing. Nothing got in the way on my drive from Somerset to Exeter for the free event on Alternative Adult Learning. Something will surely get in the way of a smooth day ahead then! Funny how the inner realms invade my head space… Well, lovely Blog reader, nothing got in the way of a really lovely smooth day! This could have been down to the amazing hard and dedicated work of Patsy Lang, our Senior Project Manager. Thank you SO much Patsy. It could have been down to the hands-on approach from the rest of the Superact team, Ursula, Matilda and Daisy. All the speakers gave really informative and engaging presentations about the local and regional work that goes on. All elements fell into place. In a brilliant venue, it must be said. Thank you Exeter Community Centre! Maybe particularly also, the people who had turned up to listen deserve our praise. Some had travelled a long way and all seemed so enthused and buzzy about the connections that were happening. Connections. That was the key word of the day for me. I was there as Project Manager and Story Coach for the EU project, Aladdin. In the coming months we are to recruit some 20 older volunteers who want to learn how to give Storytelling Workshops to younger people. This seemed like a tough call, in the inner realms of my head… After I had talked about the Aladdin Project and it’s natural link to the Power of Storytelling, I was bowled over by the response. Two very definite yesses; one with older people in Bath and the other with disadvantaged older people in Exeter. This fills my heart! Then, another definite ‘yes’, from Exeter YMCA to recruit some younger people who wish to share their stories sometime during the middle part of 2017. What a gorgeous bonus! The links in this Aladdin chain are connecting; along the path of least resistance it seems. Genie magic. Genius!

If you work with Older People (55+) or Younger (disadvantaged) People (18–30) and would like to know more about Intergenerational Storytelling please get in touch with me – stu@superact.org.uk and visit the Aladdin website – www.AladdinProject.eu

Stu Packer, Story Coach & Project Manager

Friday saw Superact complete another successful dissemination gathering for current European projects. Our ‘OTHER WAYS TO LEARN FEST’ brought together many organisations and practitioners concerned with learning. Our focus was on alternate adult learning models — outside the classroom. The theme was inspired by the On the Move project which aimed to collect good practices from across Europe in models of learning which are easily accessible to those remote from education.
Superact introduced the day with information about our own accredited alternative model, SEPE, learning through creative activity. We also presented about the On the Move project and had a wonderful entertaining presentation by our Story Coach, Stu Packer, about the Aladdin project, story telling across the generations.
We followed on after the break with presentations about other ways to learn from four other local organisations: skill sharing (Mens’ Sheds), environmental learning (OrganicArts), volunteering and work experience (St. Sidwell’s Community Centre), and learning opportunities for the homeless and others on the fringes of the community (Learn Devon). All these presentations sparked lively discussions throughout the morning and over lunch. There was a real sharing of ideas and phone numbers between people and a very happy and excited atmosphere abounded. There feels like there is scope for doing more of this sort of event, bringing together practitioners and organisations whose focus is working with the many people out there who want to learn and experience new things but not through conventional routes. Please do get in touch through patsy@superact.org.uk if you’re interested in collaborating or have any other ideas around this.
The Superact team felt a real sense of achievement at the end of the event. A very worthwhile effort by all!
Patsy Lang, Senior Project Manager