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Results of Social Permaculture in Brixton community learning Erasmus Plus project

08/11/2018
by eleanor moore
Language: EN
Document available also in: DE

Transition Town Brixton (TTB) is a Community Interest Company which creates sustainability initiatives that combat the challenges of climate change and peak oil.  We work with the local population in both education, reskilling projects & community strengthening initiatives. Our community learning projects cover issues including: alternative economies, reskilling, waste reuse, collaboration, and low cost solutions to sustainable energy.  People learn from each other, sharing knowledge & skill through exchange & fair share. We are part of wider European, International Transition and Permaculture Networks.  

 

Social Permaculture in Transition project

Brixton, like most of Europe, is facing increasing challenges both socially and environmentally.  Whilst there are many good small scale initiatives we have struggled to draw together coherent and effective networks to influence significant change – both at the local and European level.  Simultaneously, Brixton also faces challenges in adult education provision, due to a consistent lack of investment in the sector and the increased number of disadvantaged learners who fall outside of formal education provision.  

The aim of the "Social Permaculture in Transition" Erasmus+ KA1 adult education project was to improve our organisation’s capacity to support local communities, engage more people in the challenges of sustainability, and improve opportunities for informal & non-formal education particularly among socially disadvantaged groups.  We wanted to improve our networks and relationships at a European level to support systemic change, and counter the contemporary tendencies towards separation and nationalism. 

 

Staff training - community education and organisational development skills

To achieve these aims we fulfilled the objective of sending 15 staff on training courses with our Spanish partner Col•lectiu Eco-Actiu (CEA) to develop both their community education and organisational development skills.  Col·lectiu Eco-Actiu run a highly recognised, Pan European capacity building programme for social movements.  They have over 10 year experience in supporting organisations and individuals with the kind of challenges that we face. Their training programme takes a multi-tiered approach to social change, supporting transformation at the level of movements, organisations and individual learning. CEA have developed a series of trainings that look specifically at enabling organisations like ours meet the challenges noted above.  

Over 13 months our staff took part in the following activities, together forming a complete study series in the areas in which we needed capacity building support:

  •  72 Hour certified Permaculture Design Course
  •  8 day Permaculture, Nature Connection & Deep Ecology residential training 
  •  8 day Social Permaculture Theory and Practice residential training
  •  8 day Organisations Revisioned residential training
  •  8 day Catalizing Active Citizenship residential training for trainers
  •  9 day Transformative Collaboration residential training
  • 15 day Action from Depth training

 
Project outcomes 

Some of the specific outcomes gained have been:

Target groups (projects and individuals TTB work with)

  • now have access to trainers/mentors with greater experience of innovative & inspirational learning tools
  • represented by a more resilient, flexible and creative organisation 
  • are supported by trainers/mentors with improved European networks 
  • are supported by trainers/educational group leaders with increased skills in inclusive and non discriminatory education practices
  • are supported by trainers/mentors who know about pan European learning opportunities.

 
 Staff development

  • staff have an increased capacity and knowledge in educating others on sustainability/social change issues
  • staff have an increased ability to work with diverse learning groups - including hard to reach groups and those outside of formal education 
  • staff report increased confidence, self-esteem and awareness of further training/professional opportunities 
  • staff have participated in an overseas study opportunity, met many other educators from different European backgrounds and have had a basic introduction to 2 other European languages.
  • staff have improved theor employability  through new skills and competencies (6 undertook training for trainers or certified courses)

 
 Organisational development

  • We've learnt new organisational models for efficiency, flexibility and capacity for innovation 
  • We've improved collaboration between different organisational initiatives
  • We've a greater range of pedagogical methods and tools
  • We've improved our knowlege of creating inclusive learning environments
  • Made many new connections with aligned European organisations 
  • Increased our skills and experience in European partnerships and Erasmus projects.

 
The project has been very successful in achieving the aims and objectives laid out in the project proposal.  Long term the results of this project will spread among many different communities in Brixton and across the Transition Movement.
 

 

For more information about this project or its partner organisations contact: ella@transformative-education.net

 

 

Transition Town Brixton (TTB) is a Community Interest Company which creates sustainability initiatives that combat the challenges of climate change and peak oil. Our aims are to:

  • raise awareness in the community, local businesses, local authority and other public institutions of the challenges of climate change and peak oil and their impacts
  • change behaviours in the community, local businesses, local authority and other public institutions to respond to the challenges of climate change and peak oil and their impacts
  • engage the whole community in responding to the challenges of climate change and peak oil by planning and pioneering a better low-energy future
  • train and reskill members of the community for a more localised, hands-on, cooperative future: for example,  food production, sustainable homes, local economy, energy production, healthy living, resource efficiency, remanufacture, training
  • raise and generate funds and other resources to deliver these activities and to support projects and organisations that share and further the objects of the company
  • pioneer new forms of community working and management such as local currencies and trading systems, horizontal decision-making, democratic resource allocation, and participative design

 

 

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