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Preston Event


Sorry about the delay in posting this!

Last week I went to a very stimulating all day meeting organised by the Workers Education Association (WEA), concentrating on spreading best practice in informal learning, at the Tickled Trout in Preston.

“The Tickled Trout is typically chosen as a very convenient location for people from all over the North West It’s right next to an M6 motorway Junction”. It is slightly different, as I discovered if you are reliant on public transport. I caught the bus to Manchester at 8.00am allowing plenty of time for Metrolink building  disturbances… unfortunately not quite enough time… sprinted to Piccadilly, queued to collect ticket, had ticket inspected, missed train, bought coffee… caught later train. Arrived at Preston station – discovered that the Tickled Trout Inn is to Preston as Wythenshawe Forum is to central Manchester!  Needed to walk to Preston bus station (a 1960’s wonder of the public transport world)   a 15 minute hike allowing for misleading signposts. The Blackburn bus leaves Preston bus station every hour – three quarter hour in the bus station café a bus spotters watering hole . Finally arrived at the Tickled Trout entered the reception to see networking ranks of sharp suited people waving blackberries™ netbooks etc. I thought that I had stumbled into an alternative reality. A waistcoated employee approached me, “ Excuse me sir, would you be looking for the WEA meeting?” Thus I found myself in the right place a mere 3 hours and 5 minutes from leaving home.

Once I arrived I quickly began to gain useful ideas, contacts and information.  The first presentation was from Takepart Salford. Takepart is one of those national initiatives which against all expectations has been adopted by people and turned into something really useful the Community Pride Unit supported by Church Action on Poverty has done some really useful activity which has seems relevant to activities with other communities. The concept of schools of participation was also addressed which similarly has resonance for the capacity to develop activity in other communities particularly the north and east of Manchester

Enough rambling from me for now



Manchester First CLC Coordinator


CLC IT Training by the WEA

Posted by Pat :

The WEA are providing a free training session of special interest to CLCs. I hope to be attending it – hope that it is of interest to some of you. If interest contact Julie at:



Monday 14th March – IT training for CLCs – IT awareness 10 – 12.30 and Using social media and the internet 1 – 3.30pm. This training will take place at the WEA Manchester office which is close to Manchester Oxford Road station. This training is limited in places so please make sure you book your place as soon as possible.
I would be very grateful if people could confirm their attendance at the above events in order that I can make necessary arrangments for refreshments etc. Also, any ideas for the agenda would be welcome. I’ll send out more details nearer to the time but if people could let me know their attendance asap I’d be grateful. Look forward to seeing you all soon.
Julie Ballantyne
Learning Manager, Cumbria
WEA Workington Office
Trades Hall, 39 Brow Top
CA14 2DP
Tel: 01900 871 688

Hi All,

A Drop in session for the Manchester First Community Learning Champions will take place at the new Manchester Communications Academy off Rochdale Road/ Queens Road M40 8NT.

Starting today 1pm – 3pm and continuing Thursdy 10th, 17th after which we will review the time and place . Hope to see you there.


Pat Mullin

Manchester First CLC Coordinator

We Are The Champions

Gary Copitch of People’s Voice Media has been talking about Community Learning Champions on People’s Voice Media Chief Executive’s Blog. Click here to see the story.

2011 got off to a breakneck start thousands of emails (dozens?) to respond to, meetings to attend and arrange.
Firstly the annual resolve to become better… get fit! Taking advantage of a one – time only offer, remarkably similar to last year’s unrepeatable special offer, I’ve attended the gym three times. Where else can you have a near death experience several times an hour for an affordable monthly fee?
Sorry,I’m wandering,this is supposed to be about CLCs!
Hi, I’m Pat Mullin the Manchester First Community Learning Champions (CLCs) Project Coordinator. Welcome to the new website. I hope that you will both use it and come to think of it as a “favourite” and valuable resource.
I will post any relevant (and irrelevant ,see above) information. If I am saying too much or too little please let me know. Thanks to Julie for her work in putting the site together.
The main purpose of the Manchester First CLC project is to allow people to share their enthusiasm for learning. Getting involved in pleasurable activity, I enjoy learning about and, increasingly these days, how to do new things. Last year I learnt about dry stone walling…this year I’m going to use this skill to build an outdoor oven (for the British Summer!).
The Community Learning Champions project involves a range of partners Manchester First, MAES, LSEN, WEA, Peoples Voice Media advised by a number of different partners (more to follow); all of us are involved in trying to be the best learning providers we can.
Cheryl McAlister the Training Coordinator at
Manchester Community Central
has contact with and information about a range of activities and programmes .
We have been talking with Joshua Steiner at Action for Sustainable Living about CLC involvement in a programme in north Manchester. Action for Sustainable Living hope to get people directly involved in the way the local economy works, planning decisions, transport decisions, healthy living, environmental issues etc and feel sure that the CLC approach has a lot to recommend it, we have contributed to a funding application to make it happen. Fingers crossed. check out : Action for Sustainable Living.
If you have time to spare and are looking for something different to do Manchester Event Volunteers
Enough for now.