Traveller Outreach in herefordshire - belated update and off to a flying start

Alan Lewis's picture


After following a long and slow corporate recruitment process (note to self: different approach next time!) the project is up and running.


We decided that Colin, who is in post, would benefit from the existing links that have been developed by the Council's Equalities team so from the outset he has been accompanying members of the team on site and home visits. This approach has succeeded as learner referrals have quickly surpassed our original forecasts with 41 clients across Herefordshire requesting multiple courses. We expect this to increase over the next few weeks too.


We have run, or are planning to run, various courses devoted to Health and Sfaety topics such as First Aid and Food Hygiene. Accredited Chainsaw and Welding provision is in the immediate future. Also, various contruction skills, bookkeeping and animal care courses have been requested. Where appropriate learners have been signposted to training providers already delivering the requested opportunities, such as those delivering Care related provision.


Literacy is high on the agenda. Several methods have beem implemented to ensure all learners are able to receive tutition. In some areas extising provison will be utilised while in Ledbury a bespoke course will be providied. For learners who are low in confidence we have partnered with HVOSS in Hereford who will supply volunteer tutors to deliver 1-to-1 tuition. Hopefully some of these learners will increase their confidence to the point they feel able to attend group sessions, and further learning opportunities that are currently closed to them because of their level of literacy.


At Easter we will be delivering a family learning event in partnership with the Rural Media Company, who are based in Hereford and have extensive experience with the Traveller communities. They are also responible for the national Traveller's Times publication. Recently these received funding for a media project and we felt that a fun samily media session could possibly help as an engagement event for their project too.


Meanwhile, Colin will be supporting learners who have little confidence in learning, and those who are looking to access more formal HEdefinition/FEdefinition courses and maybe require guidance on identifying funding. Colin also acts as liaison between learners and the training providers. hopefully, trust will be built up over a period to the point Colin may step back.


We are also looking to the future.A pot of funding has been identified which we hope, if successful with a bid, will continue Colin's post beyond June.


Finally, thoughts have now turned to fleshing out our research outcomes. These will be fleshed out over the next week or so, and I'll post an update on our approach shortly.


Back soon.. I promise!