Inspiring learner and partner stories have supported Lancashire Adult Learning’s stellar showcase of Health and Wellbeing courses to influential healthcare professionals.
Current and prospective partner organisations from across the Red Rose County were invited to LAL’s latest social prescribing showcase at Northlight where they learned more about LAL’s wide range of Health and Wellbeing provision, and the different ways in which LAL can support organisations and learners.
Empowering tales of improved wellbeing from Lancashire Adult Learning learners who had completed courses including Art for Wellbeing and Chair Based Exercises were shared, and delegates invited to the event also heard inspiring stories from partner organisations of strong engagement in Health and Wellbeing courses.
Social prescribing is about connecting people to non-medical support in the community – an example being where education is prescribed as an alternative to medication, empowering people with the right tools to become self-managing and resilient.
Nicola Hall, Head of Curriculum and Strategic Partnerships, said: “I’m delighted that Lancashire Adult Learning is at the forefront of the incredibly important social prescribing agenda and that we are in a position to support adult learners right across the county’s 12 districts.
“Our social prescribing event was a real celebration of the tangible difference that Health and Wellbeing courses can make to the lives of Lancashire residents, and I’m looking forward to working together with key partners across the county to progress our valuable work further.”
Shamim Rahman, 30, from Burnley, was one of the learners to speak at the showcase. She said: “The course I am doing with LAL is at Linkbridge in Burnley. A community venue is accessible and much more relaxed for me and the course suits me perfectly too as art is my stress reliever.
“By completing the tasks and projects within the course, it gives me a feeling of warmth, pride and achievement. I have a wonderful tutor, I’ve learned new skills and made new friends, and the course has given me a great sense of belonging.”
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Director of Public Health for Lancashire, said: “Lancashire Adult Learning is an incredible community asset for the people of Lancashire. They can help with everything from living a healthier life to helping people develop critical skills for employment. What’s more, the courses are free of charge and they are accessible to all.
“This is going to be especially important now the health and care system joins up to work with organisations such as LAL, local authorities and community groups to promote caring for people in the communities in which they live.”
Julie Bell, Head of Libraries, Museums, Culture and Archives for Lancashire County Council said: “Public libraries have been around since the beginning of the 20th century and they have and continue to be the university on the street corner. We should never underestimate the power of what we do and we should celebrate that.
“Working with Lancashire Adult Learning enhances this as the courses offered through the partnership provides our customers with skills for life, and progression onwards and upwards in the world. The biggest and best medicine we can provide is connection, and that is what we do very well.
“The partnership we share with LAL is a real benefit to the communities of Lancashire and we are always looking at new courses and new ways to engage customers and attract new ones. The exciting thing looking into the future is that we have still got a whole lot of untapped potential through the partnership.”
Cosima Towneley, Lancashire County Councillor and Lead Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Services, said: “I’ve always thought that prevention is far preferable to prescription, and that is exactly where social prescribing fits perfectly.
“I found the Lancashire Adult Learning social prescribing event immensely useful, and the range of courses is extremely positive for people right across Lancashire who suffer with mental, physical or financial health difficulties.”
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 Functional Skills English and Maths and Employability courses.
In February 2018, Lancashire Adult Learning was named as the inaugural winner of the national Adult and Community Learning Provider of the Year at the TES FE Awards.
Further information about Lancashire Adult Learning can be found at www.lal.ac.uk or by calling 0333 003 1717.