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Raising Aspirations - Adults (CVP)
Aspirations RaisedThe majority of targets have either been met or exceeded on this project with 180 people engaged in informal learning and almost 160 undertaking an OCN accredited course.On 15 March 2012, a celebration event was held at Doe Lea Resource Centre to celebrate the success of the WNF funded projects and to recognise the achievements of the learners, the volunteers and the volunteer involving organisations.

Raising Aspirations (Adults - CVP) - Case Studies

Some names have been changed to protect identities.



G had been receiving support from two of the FIS champions for a number of months and had been ‘budget buddied’ by them. G came along to one of our promotion days to make the tea and coffee as the FIS Champions had thought this would help G get out of the house more and meet new people, in a supportive environment.

As G became more familiar with the surroundings they came along to Pear Tree house with the FIS Champions to make tea for everyone on occasions. During December we held a short taster course which G came along to and quite enjoyed. In January, on one of G’s visits, they met up with Lisa from FEI who then made a formal appointment so that G could get some support in terms of getting more ready for work.

When G had finished the FEI appointment they seemed extremely happy and, in their own terms, ‘buzzing’ about the future, so I encouraged G to sign up for some further training with us, which they consequently did. G was a bit nervous about coming to the training on their own but one of the FIS Champions offered to be an escort and I told G that I would be there on the first day of the course and I would look out for them. As it happened the course ended up being delivered within walking distance of G’s house, so that caused less stress and G also encouraged a friend along to the course which would also provide a bit more moral support.

G was a bit nervous on the first day but the tutor put everyone at ease, as usual, and G took a very active part in the course; contributing to discussions and enjoying the practical aspects. Through discussions in these sessions we talked about further experience and G expressed an interest in doing some volunteering, which I quickly passed on to the Volunteering project. Within two weeks G had met with Geoff and had secured a place at a local resource centre, supporting the care of the elderly patients.

G was very keen to update me on this at the next session and the following week couldn’t wait to tell me about their first ‘real’ day volunteering as an escort on the bus and how much they had enjoyed interacting with the patients.

Throughout this period G has changed considerably; during the time I have known G they have changed from someone who was struggling to look you in the eye and who didn’t have much going on in their life apart from their dog, to someone who is confident, outgoing, up for a challenge and is ready to face the future with a much more positive outlook.



L was volunteering and was referred onto the Introduction to Health and Social Care course, as it complimented their volunteering role. The person that referred L said that L was extremely nervous and lacking in confidence and that this needed to be taken into consideration.  It was also highlighted that L had previous issues with leaving the house and interacting with others.

When I went to observe the course on the second session I couldn’t identify anyone who may fit this description (not having met L in person before) and was surprised when I found out who L was. There was no trace of nervousness and L was contributing to the session and asking questions.  It was obvious that the tutor had built up a good relationship with L and all the other participants and was providing a very positive and supportive learning environment. During the remaining sessions L continued to be a very active member of the group, contributing ideas, asking questions and interacting with the others.

I had a brief discussion with the person who referred L in after the course; this person was pleased to hear my thoughts about how L had taken such an active part in the course and had not seemed nervous at all. I was equally pleased to hear that following on from the course L had continued to progress with this confident behaviour whilst volunteering. L completed the course, attended every session and gained qualifications in Health and Safety, Food Safety and First Aid, along with a certificate of course completion.


Learner S

Learner S was referred to CVP by the Family Employment Initiative and attended a Spreadsheet course. He was a ‘mature’ learner and quite shy, saying that he felt guilty at needing to take up the tutors time, when there were so many younger learners who seemed to know what they were doing and who he thought needed the tutor far more than he did because they were more likely to get a job. With this in mind he rushed through some of the work trying to keep up with the others and made mistakes.

The Training Officer went in to provide support on the course and spent some time one-to-one with S, guiding him through and encouraging him to ask every time he needed help. He was able to rectify the mistakes he made in the beginning, completed the course and is on target for a Level 1 qualification. He is now putting his new skills to use and has made his own spreadsheet, tracking the jobs he has applied for and the results from the applications. He is also keen to learn more.

He has gained confidence from the course through using the skills he developed for himself, but also through accepting that he was as ‘valuable’ as the other learners and realising that he could have the support necessary for him to complete the course at his own pace.


Case Study

One of the people who came to the Volunteers Week launch signed up with the Volunteering Project. He was signposted to Willow Tree Farm and Rhubarb Farm Challenges, which he attended. At the Rhubarb Farm challenge he spoke to Jason who encouraged him to get more involved. At the end of the day they had arranged for him to go back the following Wednesday to do more volunteering with a view to him becoming a regular volunteer.

One of the people who came along to do the Introduction to Volunteering OCN as a Children’s Centre volunteer has now decided to take on a small part of the Community Champion role within her existing volunteer role at the Children’s Centre. This was one of the main reasons for putting the two courses together and it has worked this time.

Confidence Building session 8th April: I went to observe the whole session. One person (C) was so nervous about talking in public she started to shake and break out in a rash at the mere mention of doing a presentation at the end of the session. Another person (A) stated point blank that she would not do one but, at the same time, she understood that if she wanted to run her own business, she would need to. The tutor accepted their views and carried on through the session. At the end of the session (C) stood with four other people and presented a story, and (A) did a five minute talk on the town of Bolsover all by herself. Both of them were quite amazed at what they had managed to achieve with the support of the tutor and the other students.

On the last Food Safety course at Willow Tree Farm, one of the learners had been referred by the FEI. She came in feeling very nervous and under pressure to get back to work, although she hadn’t had a job for around 20 years. She had always been a stay at home wife as her husband had a good job, but had recently been made redundant.  They were both at their wits end. I calmed her down and encouraged her to do the Food Safety and talked to her about the support available through our one stop shops. To be honest I didn’t think she would stay, even though I did highlight the issue quietly with the tutor, and certainly didn’t think she would follow up on the one stop shop idea. However, a few weeks later she came into Kitchencroft with her husband to see Jon about benefits and money advice and she told me she had completed the Food Safety day and was looking forward to finding out if she had passed or not.



'Beth's' mum attended a Making Sense campaign and made enquiries about her daughter attending a confidence building session, or a Food Hygiene Course. 'Beth' had some problems and needed a bit of a boost and some encouragement to come out of the house, so it was agreed that a confidence building session would be a good starting point. Her mum signed her up to the course at Tibshelf and came along with her for support.

Feedback from the tutor showed that after a slow start and some emotional reactions to some of the stories that were told, 'Beth' became engaged in the session and participated fully in the final activities. Both 'Beth' and her mum have expressed an interest in joining the next Chesterfield College Raising Aspirations course.


Iain took part in the Community Champion pilot training course as part of his involvement with the Financial Inclusion Project which he had been referred to by the Bolsover Volunteering Project. He was unemployed, but had a significant amount of experience working in the financial services industry.

He completed the Community Champion course and through this saw that this role as a Financial Inclusion Champion was closely linked with that of the Learning Champion and the Health Champion.

He has progressed on to secure himself a volunteering role within his own community in the south of the district and is including within this role the element of Learning Champion. He has attended and very nearly completed a Level 1 OCN Peer Mentoring Course, and is currently putting these new skills to use within his own area.

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