For the second year running we have been fortunate to be able to host two more spanish students from the INSTITUT EDUCACIÓ SECUNDÀRIA ABASTOS in Valencia as part of the Erasmus+ EUprogramme for education, training, youth and sport.
The Erasmus+ programme aims to modernise education, training and youth work across Europe. It is open to education, training, youth and sport organisations across all sectors of lifelong learning, including school education, further and higher education, adult education and the youth sector and it offers exciting opportunities for UK participants to study, work, volunteer, teach and train abroad.
Alexandra has secured an internship as a volunteer in Business Administration, based at the E2 Training Centre, where she provides general support to visitors, carries out a diverse range of office duties such as updating and maintaining office policies and procedures to writing and distributing email, assisting with meetings and taking detailed minutes.
She says "Being here at E2 has enabled me to improve my English. Furthermore, I have developed a whole host of professional skills that help me to get the job that I want in business administration. I am very happy to be here and strongly recommend everyone to take the opportunity to do an Erasmus plus at E2".
Alberto is volunteering as an IT technician. His internship placement is enabling him to further develop his technical skills whilst being able to improve his understanding of English. So far Alberto has provided on-going IT support at the E2 Training Centre, where he has set up a new computer suite for our learners.
He has also worked with staff to support local companies and has been busy recycling donated computers getting them ready to redistribute to other organisations in Leicester. Alberto has taken the opportunity to get to know to region by making visits to the Peak District, Nottingham and York.
Joan Ripoll, International Affairs Coordinator at IES ABASTOS, thanks us for the role we play in supporting the students and tells us that Manuel and Jorge, the two Erasmus students from last year, really benefited from their placement at the charity and have gone on to lead on a project in the Czech Republic, Belgium and Germany using the many of the real-life experiences they gained from their stay and work in Leicester.
The Cooke E-Learning Foundation, now trading as E2, has secured the lease of the former housing office at Home Farm, Beaumont Leys for the next 5 years. Leicester City Council have relocated their housing services to Beaumont Leys Library resulting in a more efficient and easier to access service for Beaumont Leys residents. E2 intends to use the former housing office to deliver a range of educational and community related services for young people and adults. Over the next few months, E2 will roll-out a number of new services such as free computer sessions, after-school sessions and advice surgeries in partnership with De Montfort University (DMU) who share a vision to help local residents of Beaumont Leys in lifting themselves and their families out of poverty through education, advice and guidance. The Home Farm area in Beaumont Leys is one of the most disadvantaged parts of the city, which is why E2 and DMU are determined to make a difference and offer services that benefit local people. Local Ward Councillors have been crucial in helping to make this happen by ensuring that whoever moves into the former Home Farm Housing Office meets the needs of local young people and adults and brings a real benefit to the area.
The Cooke E-Learning Foundation (E2) has been located in Beaumont Leys for over 10 years and their work throughout Leicester and Leicestershire has helped 1000s of people get to grips with technology as well as delivering over 10,000 hours of workshops and community related projects, many of which are focused on Beaumont Leys. E2 are currently a delivery partner with Moneywise Plus, a £1.9 million EU/Lottery funded project which started at the end of 2016 and will continue to 2019. Moneywise Plus helps participants move closer to employment with services designed to improve financial capability, digital skills and volunteering.
De Montfort University’s Square Mile project has already made a big difference in Beaumont Leys with the development of Beaumont Park Sports Facility on Bennion Road, as well as the assistance they have provided to new and existing groups through the ‘Building a Better Beaumont Leys Project’ which has helped community groups with start-up funding and funding for community events.
Martin Buchanan the CEO of E2 stated that ‘this centre is right where we want to be, bringing E2 back to its original roots and helping those who need it the most. The Cooke E-Learning Foundation now trading as E2 is the brainchild of Peter Smith who in 2005 was Deputy Principal of Babington College and saw that local residents in the area needed additional help outside of what the college could offer. We have a lot of work to do at Home Farm and we hope to gain the trust and support of local residents to make the area a better place to live and help people to empower themselves through education.’
Martin Buchanan has lived and worked in Beaumont Leys for over 18 years and has raised his children in the areas schools. His previous involvement with Home farm includes renovating a disused toilet block which had not been open for over 7 years. The toilet block is currently used as an office for a taxi company. He is currently a Trustee of Beaumont Lodge Neighbourhood Association CIO, which is one of the area's few remaining community organisations and was key in helping the organisation develop into a fully-fledged charity and improving their services.
Martin Buchanan went on to state that ‘Beaumont Leys needs more community minded people to help stand up for the rights of local residents and to develop services that are not currently available or may be shortly unavailable due to cuts. If there are people in Beaumont Leys that have ideas about setting up their own group please get in touch and we will do our best to get you on the right path’. Contact Martin on: 0116 2128491.
During the summer E2 coordinated a consortium of local partners
to deliver holiday activities for young people
Our partners were:-
- Action Homeless
- Beaumont Lodge Neighbourhood Association
- Soft-Touch Arts
- Leicester City Council
- Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire
- Art with Khush
- Boxercise - Unity Boxing Club
- Christ the King Church Church - Stay + Playgroup
- BLING - Beaumont Leys Inspiring the Next Generation
A big THANK YOU to everyone that helped deliver sessions and to those who supported and funded the scheme and made it such a success!
There were some very interesting figures about crime and antisocial behaviour over the summer holidays in Beaumont Leys and Abbey: In comparison to 2017 (Jul & Aug) crime and antisocial behaviour was down by an average of 40% this year.
We can't take all the credit for this as the police and other organisations are working proactively to reduce this. However, we can say that we made some difference to these figures over the summer holidays with the provision of our summer holiday activities.
There may be some variation in trends, reporting issues and types of crime, however we were informed by Sgt Ian Parker that the expected spike in crime and antisocial behaviour, due to the heat wave we experienced, did not materialise.The numbers of children and young people who accessed activities over the summer holidays in Beaumont Leys were impressive
- Free activity sessions provided over the summer holidays = 118
- Total number of children & young people that accessed activities = 1031
- Individual registrations of children & young people = 588
- Free packed lunches distributed = 2083
Next year we plan to coordinate a parade through Beaumont Leys which will bring all the schools, local groups and people together to celebrate our varied culture and build community cohesion. Watch this space!
Congratulations to Scott Davies who received the Going the Extra Mile DMU Square Mile Award for achieving 150 volunteering hours in one academic year.
Scott started his hours by volunteering for Beaumont Youth Club where he met our CEO Martin Buchanan. He has participated in 12 different activities, everything from teaching three year 6 classes about shareholding to helping with our new Food Hub.
Having sacrificed much of his spare time to volunteering he did not have time to look for a student work placement, until he was offered one at the E2 Training Centre as Business Development Coordinator, which includes managing the Food Hub and hiring out rooms. Scott jumped at the chance to take this fantastic opportunity to apply the knowledge he has gained during his time studying business at DMU and welcomed the chance to apply the experience gained through the number of volunteering opportunities he has participated in.
Scott said " Volunteering helps me give something back to the community while keeping me active which helps with my mental health, therefore, being nominated and winning was a total surprise as I did not expect anything in return for volunteering"
DMU students receiving their awards at the Square Mile Awards Ceremony
E2 Community Sports Facility at Home Farm
We are raising funds to help us in the early stages of a project to turn a piece of derelict land into a vibrant and well-used community sports facility.
Why are we doing this?
- 30% of young people in the Home Farm area of Beaumont Leys live in poverty and there is a major problem with a lack of things to do.
- Young people we work with and talk to say that they have nowhere suitable that they can access to play football or various sports in Beaumont Leys at no cost to themselves.
- Football-related projects in Beaumont Leys have in the past reduced reported crime and anti-social behaviour.
- The new community facility will offer free access with a range of coaching sessions and sports activities supported by the Police and De Montfort University's Sport Coaches.
What will the funding pay for?
- Working with community consultants to carry out research and write a proposal to access additional funding
- Engaging with design specialists to draw up plans and designs for the new facility
- Obtaining planning permissions and an agreement about the length of lease or asset transfer of the land with LCC
At all times we will ensure that local young people are involved in the design, procurement and creation of the new sports facility.
Follow this link to Spacehive to sponsor us and to find out more.