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CLIF impact project: Community learning and volunteering

CLIF impact project: Community learning and volunteering

Helen Plant

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January 2014

About This Publication

Evidence from Community Learning Innovation Fund (CLIF) projects confirms that there is a strong, mutually beneficial relationship between the twin activities of learning and volunteering in communities. A total of 55,800 hours of volunteer time were contributed through CLIF. From disabled learners in Derbyshire who seized opportunities to become active citizens in their local area, to learners in Exeter who set up and ran computer drop-in sessions in their community centre, volunteers have been instrumental to the success of all but a handful of projects.

This report presents the findings of work to identify the impact of community learning on volunteering, undertaken as part of CLIF. The evidence gathered shows how learning and volunteering are complementary activities, which together can produce opportunities and benefits that are greater than the sum of the parts; from modest amounts of investment, significant outcomes have been realised for learners, families and communities.

This report will be of particular interest to national and local policy makers and commissioners of public services. Community learning providers in local authorities, colleges and third sector organisations will also find the report helpful in supporting their work to develop local planning, funding and delivery partnerships.

The report is one of a series of six thematic papers demonstrating the contribution of community learning to key policy areas produced by NIACE. See also: