Kickstart and Moving On funding can be used to support a wide range of workplace learning activities. Read on for some ideas…
Funding can be used for supporting member learning, for example, by
- hiring a venue
- supplying refreshments
- purchasing books for a reading group
- providing IT resources
- contributing to the development of a course
- buying equipment for a learning centre
Funding can’t be used for…
- tutor costs
- activist training
UNISON reps and organisers have used funding from the Inclusive Learning Project to support all sorts of creative learning activities.
For example, Jacquie Olpin from Mansfield branch used Kickstart funding to pay for ingredients and recipe cards for a series of healthy eating workshops, with over 200 taking part.
And she used Moving On funding to pay for furniture for a reading room in the Council’s Civic Centre. It included a sofa, bookshelves, coffee tables, and lots off books. The room is well used and staff love the quiet space to relax at lunchtime and pick up a book.
How to apply for funding
Martin Russo, Inclusive Learning Project manager, explains the process of applying for Kickstart and Moving On funding in this short video.
Carol McGrath, UNISON learning rep at Leeds City Council, had delivered a Stress Awareness workshop in her department, adult social care.
As part of the workshop learners said that due to their very busy workloads many of them did not take a lunch break, often eating at their desks instead.
Carol explored with them why this had become part of the culture in the workplace and how they could remedy this problem…
From this discussion came the idea that lunch times could be more fun and interactive. Learners agreed that a reading group would be a great idea.
Working with Kickstart
Carol put forward an application for a Kickstart grant to develop a lending library and reading group. A large bookcase was purchased from the Kickstart funding and staff from Carol’s department began to bring in their used books until the bookcase was full.
The reading group was launched with 24 members of staff joining. Carol suggested that it would be great if the group could read a different genre of book each time with individual members suggesting a good read from each of these genres. The idea behind this was to get people reading books that they wouldn’t normally read as a way of stretching and improving members’ levels of literacy.
Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again…
The first genre chosen was a classic. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier was selected and at the group all agreed that they really enjoyed the book and that they would read more classics in the future. Other reads to date include historical, cultural, biography, romantic, war, comedy and psychological thriller.
The lending library is a huge success with books coming and going on a daily basis.
The reading group is still going strong, with about 10 to 12 attending the monthly meetings. Many of its members have registered for the Reading Ahead Challenge.
Other clubs have developed from this and some staff meet regularly for a Knit and Natter or a walking group.
Carol says that it’s created a great deal of fun. It’s created a bond with staff, who now have a common interest with the books they have read, loaned or borrowed.
And it resulted in an award for Carol for supporting literacy in the workplace!
Photograph © Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk