Making an effective adult education project requires many essential ingredients, one of which is building successful partnerships.
Creating a strong, respectful relationship with your partners can really add value and strength to the project. It should be no surprise then that it takes effort and dedication to build such a partnership. Finding the right partners, identifying what can they bring to the table and ensuring there is a sense of reciprocity – these are all vital steps in this journey.
This relationship is incredibly important for Erasmus+ funded projects that fall under Key Action 2: Strategic Partnerships. These type of activities involve organisations working effectively together to achieve their objectives.
Regenerus and Banbridge District Enterprise are two UK organisations that reaped the benefits of successful partnerships. Below is a closer look at their projects and partnerships.
Tomorrow’s Land project
Regenerus created the ‘Tomorrow’s Land’ project which aims to nurture and encourage the next generation of social innovators – people who use social innovation to address global issues. As the lead partners, they worked with organisation in Portugal, Denmark, Latvia, Italy and Germany.
Through the project, partners will create resources to help educators train these new social innovators. They also plan to create educational tools such as a learning framework, MOOC and online learning resources.
“It is a really well put together partnership,” says Ruth Livesey from Regenerus. “One partner leads on promotion and dissemination and the website, another on the MOOC. Everyone works to their area of expertise and shares their creativity and it's brilliant.”
The organisation has also found personal benefits from the partnership. Ruth adds:
“Every time I’m involved in a European partnership, I learn so much; you are thrown in with people from different mind sets, different cultures, different approaches and finding out about how things work all over the world.”
Food incubators transforming regions (FITR) project
Their partnership was formed with organisations from the UK, Republic of Ireland, Slovakia and the Netherlands. Together, they created shared kitchen spaces called food incubators – opening up barriers to those who may be classed as ‘economically inactive’.
Ciaran Cunningham, project co-ordinator, explains:
“We see a lot of people, often classed as ‘economically inactive’ that have an excellent food business idea. They may come in with a well-researched idea but the need to invest in expensive production facilities means that they are unable to fulfil their potential.
A shared facility would allow them to professionalise their work and develop their business, without having the concerns of leasing a property or the huge expense of buying professional catering equipment.”
In addition, they created toolkits and training courses in order to spark a wider impact.
“The greatest thing about Erasmus+ from our point of view is the partnerships that we were able to develop.
Erasmus+ funding has been crucial to us. The programme allows you to develop those relationships and create great and lasting partnerships.
We were able to share best practice, learning from the Slovak University of Agriculture, business incubation specialists BDF from the Netherlands and Irish food incubation specialist Momentum.”
Both of these projects’ success stories show the power of effective partnerships and how crucial it is to build them. Not only to achieve project objectives, but also in terms of impact and sharing knowledge.
EPALE can help your organisation find potential partners for adult education projects using the EPALE Partner Search tool. Make sure you also check out these top tips if you’re planning to apply for Erasmus+ funding.
The Erasmus+ programme offers many funding opportunities for organisations to create a valuable contribution in this sector.
Interested to learn how Erasmus+ funding could help your organisation? There are still places left at Erasmus+ Information Sessions – register today!
Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport. The Erasmus+ UK National Agency is a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK.
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