Circle of Learning aims to ensure the continuity of learning within communities by connecting those with experience and knowledge with those that are just starting out on the road of active citizenship, community organising and development.
It acknowledges that communities go through cycles of development communities in terms of the number of active, informed and experienced community members with groups at different stages of development. Some groups may be well established and have experience in lobbying, developing programmes and mobilising social capital. Other groups may be starting out and defining their role.
The project also addresses the need for succession planning in terms of the continuity of community leadership and ensuring the transfer of knowledge and experience from one generation of community leaders to another. It examines how groups can keep community members connected to their work and how to encourage new leaders to get involved.
The Circle of Learning project works on the same principles as adult education and supports informal learning through discussion, analysis and practical application of knowledge. It acknowledges the experience of those that work in a voluntary capacity using the practical co-operation to build new and sustainable links on a cross-community basis.
The project will form the basis of a community-training networking between the participating communities. It will deliver a shared journey of training and learning to a range of individuals, groups and organisations. Having undergone this journey together, a strong network of inter-community links and supports will then be in place, which will ensure that people sustain contact beyond the lifetime of the project.