Local college project aims to get people back into Lancashire’s libraries

Lancashire Adult Learning (LAL), part of the Nelson and Colne College group, have reignited their Library Ambitions project, in the hopes that the local community will rekindle their love for Lancashire libraries.

As part of the enterprise, LAL are running over one-hundred courses, all free of charge! This offer was taken on by thirty-five libraries last year and is available to all sixty-four sites in Lancashire.

Courses on offer range from arts and crafts, fun language learning, exercise for health and wellbeing, digital skills for life and work, first aid, historical Lancashire, employability skills and technology classes.

After running a similar programme last year, LAL managed to reach 750 adult learners, improving their maths, English, digital, arts, first aid and horticulture skills. Participants left feeling more prepared for work and for life.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, Cabinet Member for Community and Cultural Services at Lancashire County Council, said; “The Library Ambitions project showcases all of the opportunities our libraries can provide that go beyond reading.

“Whether you want to create something, learn about our county’s history, build on your health and wellbeing or improve your technology skills, there really is something for everyone.

“Working closely with Lancashire Adult Learning, our library colleagues are committed to providing fun and informative sessions that create a sense of community, and I would encourage anyone who is looking to improve an area of their life, find a new hobby or simply meet new people to take a look at what’s on offer in their local area.”

A learner who suffers badly from arthritis capitalised on the Library Ambitions free courses last year and took a chair-based yoga class. She said “I didn’t think I would be able to do the exercises but through the guidance of an experienced instructor I was able to achieve what I hadn’t thought possible. I feel so much better now.”

In addition, this coming weekend will see many of Lancashire’s Libraries transform into Fun Palaces for the annual Fun Palace initiative. Families are being invited on Saturday, October 1st to enjoy a day full of celebration, culture, fun and enjoyment.

Local communities across the country will join together in libraries, shopping centres, schools, parks, village centres and community halls up and down the nation this weekend to take part in the free event.

Fun Palaces near you can be found at Libraries in Nelson, Burnley, Clitheroe and Whalley with a second one in Clitheroe based at the Castle Museum. These will all be open and offering free activities on Saturday the 1st of October, but please feel free to head to funpalaces.co.uk for more information on what is on in your area.

For those interested in the Library Ambitions courses, the LAL website has a breakdown of where and when the free offers are taking place. Just head to www.lal.ac.uk/courses-at-local-libraries/ to see what is on near you and to enrol on as many courses as you wish.

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