Building stronger communities

Calling all community organisations across Somerset – the Community Learning Partnership fund for community learning projects will open on 15 June 2020!

Community Learning Partnership

The Community Learning team at Somerset Skills & Learning supports programmes which maximise access to community learning across Somerset. SS&L are passionately committed to widening participation in learning across the county and, via funding provided by the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), up to £30,000 per project is now available to organisations in Somerset.

Justin Speirs, who heads up the Community Learning Partnership team at SS&L, explains,

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.

Current projects

This year SS&L has funded over 50 projects that have so far provided learning opportunities for more than 3000 learners, with delivery continuing until the end of June.  We have been astounded by the resilience and creativity of our partnership, particularly in their response to the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Most projects have managed to move their delivery online so that they can continue to reach and support Somerset residents, particularly those who are most in need.

Social value

Additionally, SS&L piloted a social value assessment tool, which we plan to roll out in 2020/21. Surveying 145 learners before and after they engaged in learning activities throughout our partnership, we were able to estimate a social value saving of approximately £350,000. We believe this pilot gives a great insight into the wider impact of the fantastic work delivered to communities in Somerset.

The Stronger Communities Fund

If you’re an organisation involved in community learning and would benefit from further funding, why not apply to The Stronger Communities Fund.

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

How to apply

The fund will open on Monday 15 June 2020 to receive applications for projects planning to start delivery from September 2020. The closing date for this round is Friday 17 July 2020 at 5pm.

If you are interested in applying for funding, please contact Emma Street via email at 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.