Lancashire Adult Learning launches Volunteer Academy

Lancashire Adult Learning has successfully launched its Volunteer Academy at a special event held at Northlight in Brierfield.

The Volunteer Academy has been created by LAL to act as a central hub for volunteering in response to growing demand for volunteers from organisations across the county.

Head of Curriculum at Lancashire Adult Learning Karen Wignall delivered a presentation on the importance of volunteering and the broad range of opportunities available and there were contributions from St Catherine’s Hospice in Preston and Carer’s Link in Lancashire on the need for volunteers.

Assembled guests and dignitaries at the launch included the Mayor and Mayoress of Pendle, Coun. David Whalley and his wife Barbara.

LAL currently offers a wide range of volunteering courses. Since September 2016, more than 300 volunteers have been trained and of those attending LAL’s Volunteer Training Programme, 73% of learners were in a sustained their voluntary work after completing the programme.

Karen Wignall said: “It was fantastic to be able to launch the Volunteer Academy and I would like to thank our guests for attending.

“Lancashire Adult Learning’s Volunteer Academy aims to help Lancashire volunteer groups, key workers, service providers, local authorities and individuals access current information and training in one central location.

“After running a number of Volunteer Training Programmes, it became clear that people attending volunteer programmes were unaware of the scope of volunteer opportunities available, organisations that need volunteers, how to find out about the opportunities and how to be considered for opportunities.

“Volunteering helps people to gain new and different experiences through helping others, empowering individuals to make a difference to themselves, their local environment and the wider community. This can include formal activity undertaken through public, private and voluntary organisations as well as informal community participation.

“LAL can help organisations recruit skilled volunteers, train existing volunteers and save time and money by finding suitable candidates. Volunteers meanwhile can receive training to help become a volunteer or to enhance existing skills, find suitable volunteer placements across Lancashire and be rewarded with Lancashire Time Credits to spend in their local community.”

Hollie Dring from St Catherine’s Hospice said: “Volunteers are the life-blood of St Catherine’s Hospice – we as a charity simply couldn’t survive without more than 700 of them working in a variety of different roles.

“The Volunteer Academy at Lancashire Adult Learning is a great idea which benefits both the volunteers and organisations like St Catherine’s. We’re looking forward to working with LAL – empowering new volunteers with relevant training and skills, and opening them up to opportunities that have the potential to make a real difference to the lives of local people.”

Individuals or organisations wanting to find out more about the Volunteer Academy can contact Karen Wignall at

As well as its targeted delivery and partnership work, Lancashire Adult Learning offers a huge range of planned provision across the Red Rose County, from Arts and Crafts to Humanities classes, Languages to Health and Wellbeing sessions and Employability courses.

Lancashire Adult Learning’s new course guide is out now, and is packed full of courses to help adults across Lancashire learn a new skill, enhance their social life, or develop their career prospects.

For more information about LAL, contact 0333 003 1717 or visit

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