2012 BIENNIAL CONFERENCE NUM Offices Barnsley
YORKSHIRE AREA NUM. UNION LEARN STALL
Pictured (L-R) Nicky Wilson (National NUM President) Chris Kitchen (National NUM General Secretary) Chris Skidmore (Union Learn Project Manager/Yorkshire Area NUM Chairman) Wayne Thomas (South Wales Secretary/ National NUM Vice President)
YORKS AREA NUM ULF.PROJECT
LEARNING CENTRE SET-UP FROM "INCEPTION TO FRUITION" (JULY 2008- TO DATE) CASE STUDY
THORNYCROFT MINERS CENTRE PONTEFRACT.
IN JULY 2008 BOTH THE PROJECT MANAGER & WORKER UNDERTOOK VISITS TO THE THORNYCROFT DISABLED MINERS CENTRE TO ESTABLISH CONTACT WITH STAFF & MEMBERS ALIKE. IN AN INFORMAL SETTING. THIS EXPANDED TO A FORMAL MEETING WITH THE CENTRE MANAGER MARIA BLACK.
GAVE ADVICE TO 12 MEMBERS WHO HAD EXPRESSED AN INTEREST IN THE PROJECT AFTER PUTTING THEIR NAMES ON A LIST PROVIDED BY THE CENTRE MANAGER AFTER SEEING OUR POSTERS.
BY SEPTEMBER WE HAD ATTENDED ON A REGULAR BASIS TO FORGE A RELATIONSHIP WITH MEMBERS ATTENDING THE CENTRE. A FURTHER 12 PEOPLE EXPRESSED AN INTEREST IN THE SKILLS FOR LIFE COURSES.
WE GAVE A DEMONSTATION IN THE CENTRE'S IT SUITE AFTER ESTABLISHING THE INTERNET CONNECTION 7 GAVE AN INITIAL 8 MEMBERS AN INSIGHT INTO THE NUM WEB SITE AND INTERNET OPTIONS. 2 MEMBERS ALSO EXPRESSED AN INTEREST IN THE PENSIONS CHAMPIONS COURSE.
AGREEMENT WAS REACHED WITH THE CENTRE MANAGER THAT WE WOULD ATTEND THE CENTRE FOR THE MAJOR PART
OF A WEEK & GIVE DEMONSTRATION OF LAP TOP COMPUTER USEAGE , IN TOTAL 40+ TOOK AN INTEREST WITH SOME FIRM ASSURANCES THAT THEY WOULD HAVE A TRY.
AGAIN MET CENTRE MANAGER WHO ASKED IF WE WERE INTERESTED IN BECOMING TRUSTEES OF THE CENTRE TO AID BOTH THE CENTRE IN ITS QUEST FOR CONTINUED GRANT S FROM THE ORGANISATION C.I.S.W.O AND TO GIVE OUR PROJECT A SENSE OF LONGEVITY AND CREDIBILITY. THIS WAS AGREED AND BOTH MAURICE AND CHRIS WERE CO-OPTED ONTO THE TRUSTEESHIP VIA THE TRADE UNION. THET ATTENDED THEIR FIRST MEETING AND EXPLAINED WHAT THE UNION LEARN PROJECT WAS ALL ABOUT AND HOW IT FITTED IN WITH THE POLICIES AND AIMS OF THE UNION.
NOW FIRMLY ESTABLISHED A FORMAL MEETING TOOK PLACE IN NOVEMBER TO DISCUSS SETTING UP A LEARNING CENTRE. WITH REPRESENTATIVES FROM UNION LEARN LEEDS REGIONAL OFFICE IN ATTENDANCE. WE WERE CONFIDENT IT COULD BE ACHIEVED WITH THE LEEDS STAFF SOMEWHAT CAUTIOUS.. WE WENT AHEAD AND CONTACTED LEEDS COLLEGE WITH THE AIM OF SETTING UP A MEETING EARLY IN THE NEW YEAR.
"NEW YEAR NEW BEGINNING"
A MEETING DID TAKE PLACE WITH LEEDS COLLEGE STAFF MARIA BLACK & OURSELVES AND AGREEMENT REACHED WE WOULD ARRANGE 2 OPEN DAYS TO GUAGE INTEREST IN SUPPLYING COURSES FROM THE CENTRE. POSTERS & FLYERS WERE DEVISED AND DELIVERED IN THE SURROUNDING AREA. ALSO ATTENDED ANOTHER TRUSTEES MEETING TO EXPLAIN OUR STRATEGY & HOW THE PROJECT WOULD BENEFIT THE CENTRE. 1 OPEN DAY WAS HELD TO COINCIDE WITH A PROMOTION OF THE WORK CISWO CARRY OUT.THE NEXT 1 WAS PRIMARILY FOR THE UNION LEARN PROJECT WHICH TOOK PLACE IN EARLY FEBRUARY THIS WAS WELL ATTENDED AND THE "FREEBIES" WERE EAGERLY "SNAPPED UP". MORE IMPORTANTLY A DEMONSTATION OF LAP TOP & PROJECTOR
USE WAS WELL RECEIVED WITH FIRM COMMITMENTS TO COURSE ATTENDANCE IN "SKILLS FOR LIFE. 30+ MEMBERS ATTENDED WITH 12 SIGNING UP FOR THE FIRST COURSE COMMENCING AT THE END OF THE MONTH.THERE WAS A WAITING LIST OF 10 MORE MEMBERS +.8 MORE WHO EXPRESSED A WISH TO ATTEND A NIGHT CLASS..
BEARING THIS IN MIND WE HELD A "TEAM MEETING" & DECIDED TO INVEST IN A PRINTER TO HELP WITH THE SET UP OF THE LEARNING CENTRE WHICH WAS DULY HANDED OVER TO CO-INCIDE WITH THE FIRST CLASS TAKING PLACE.
THIS CLASS SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED WITH THE NEXT FOLLOWING ON THE NIGHT CLASS STARTED WELL BUT TAPERED OFF SOMEWHAT. THERE IS SCOPE FOR SOME MEMBERS TO GO ON TO THE NEXT STAGE WITH SOME MORE MEMBERS WHO HAVE APPLIED.ALREADY WHO ARE ALREADY PROFFICIENT ENOUGH TO PROCEED TO THIS STANDARD. WE WILL SEEK TO INTRODUCE A FORM OF DEPOSIT (RETURNABLE ON COMPLETION OF THE COURSE) FOR THE NEXT NIGHT CLASS
WHILST EXPERIENCING A SET BACK IN THAT LEEDS COLLEGE HAVE NO TUTORS AVAILABLE TO DELIVER I.T. COURSES WE ARE HOPEFUL THAT JIM SCOTT & TREV SARGISON HAVE RESOURCED ALTERNATIVE REPLACEMENTS FOR COMMENCEMENT EARLY IN THE NEW YEAR.
THE I.T. EQUIPMENT WILL BE REPLACED BY MORE UP TO DATE HARDWARE FROM CASTLFORD COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTRE. (WHICH IS A SPLENDID EXAMPLE OF LEARNING CENTRES NETWORKING & DISPLAYING BEST PRACTICE )
FOLLOWING MEETINGS HELD BETWEEN THE PROJECT TEAM, THORNYCROFT CENTRE MANAGER, & LEEDS REGIONAL OFFICE UNION LEARN TEAM., ADULT LEARNING WEEK WOULD BE MARKED AT THORNYCROFT BY HOLDING EVENTS OVER 3 DAYS DURATION.
THE UNION'S SOLICITORS PROVIDED A WELFARE & BENEFITS WORKSHOP, WITH THE PROJECT TEAM ON HAND TO ASSIST MEMBERS WITH ACCESS TO I.T. SUITE WHICH IN TURN GAVE ACCESS TO WELFARE BENEFITS INFORMATION VIA THE INTERNET. THIS IS NOT ONLY AN EXERCISE IN HELPING OUR RETIRED MEMBERS OBTAIN THE CORRECT LEVEL OF BENEFITS THAT THEY ARE ENTITLED TO CLAIM BUT IT ALSO GIVES THEM A SOUND BASIC SKILLS IN I.T.
2010 BIENNIAL CONFERENCE HILTON HOTEL BLACKPOOL JUNE 25TH -27TH .
YORKSHIRE AREA NUM. UNION LEARN STALL
Pictured (L-R) Maurice Kent ( Union Learn. Project Worker) Keith Stanley (Acting National President N.U.M) Chris Skidmore (Union Learn Project Manager/Yorkshire Area NUM Chairman)
The Union Learn (Yorkshire Area) Project stall was again present at the Union`s Conference & was promoting a number of key learning issues.
All Delegates, Officials & visitors attended the stall at some point in the proceedings & took advantage of the promotional items available. Attendees were treated to a lap-top providing information about the T.U.C.`S Union Learn Project & the N.U.M `s Heritage featured in the Yorkshire & Humber Union Learn Magazine. The lap-top also provided the opportunity to access the NUM Web Site & associated links to the Union ie. the D.W.P.& various heritage sites dealing with various aspects of pit life. A photographic display of various Community educational events organized by the Union Learn Project team since the projects inception provided the backdrop to the stall.
The Project had ensured that the popular “Quick Reads” were available as were a selection of general knowledge quiz questions for visitors to participate in.
Information & structured advice was provided on a wide range of issues including availability of courses, time off to train, time off for trade union duties & employer support & participation. An emerging topic this year was
for the provision of information & understanding of carbon capture & clean coal technology. An issue which the Project will address with the Area Education Sub Committee.
THORNYCROFT CRAFT CLASSES March 2010
Following a" questionnaire" session at the Thornycroft centre where people were asked what aspect of Adult Learning they would be interested in attending. Also that our project had made a commitment to engage ex miners & retired miners in learning & to offer learning opportunities that are accessible to all in the Mining Communities, we decided to organize a "Craft Class at the Thornycroft Centre. Realizing that this type of course would also enhance the principle of "Informal Adult Learning" we embarked on the design & delivery of leaflets & posters advertising the Course.
Working in partnership with "FABRICATION" from LEEDS a specialist provider in Craftwork we were able to provide learning opportunities 2 days a week for the Month of March.. The classes were invaluable in providing not only a sense of well being but a sense of purpose, inclusion, equality & diversity & encouraged basic skills for life learning.
Using the facilities at Thornycroft .provided the ideal venue for a creative craft course. The attendees were quick to recognize that the NUM Project had delivered what they had promised to do, thus building an atmosphere of harmonious participation & engagement. The course was also useful in that impartial advice & guidance was readily available and fully supported the individuals choice & creativity. 15 people ( both sexes were represented) attended the sessions enthusiastically on both the Monday & Thursday of each week throughout March, with interest expressed in taking up other learning opportunities that the project provides.
The Project got the chance to contribute to the local community's mental & physical well being (the Centre is building up a good reputation for the provision of healthy, freshly prepared & affordable meals) The Course provided an opportunity to support social contact for people who wanted to " get creative" . The Centre Manager Maria Black commented that "Everyone enjoyed the course immensely & the course further enhanced Thornycroft's reputation as a Community Learning Centre that provided something for everyone".
LOCAL COUNCILLORS SUPPORT NUMs LEARNING AT WORK DAY
The Pontefract Miners Recreational Centre "Thornycroft" was chosen as the venue for this years Learning At Work Day following consultation with Maria Black the Centre Manager, who is also a member of the projects steering group. The Centre was established in 1924 & originally provided a Library, Recreation Athletics & Pleasure Grounds for Mineworkers and their Families. The Centre is open 5 days per week & as well as attracting local people through its doors, specially adapted buses bring people in from Traditional Mining Communities.
The Centre has recently added a "Befriending Scheme" to its many attributes encouraging more people to attend the Centre in an effort to combat the problems associated with social exclusion. the Employees from the Groundwork Team who look after the Befriendind Service the Kitchen & Cleaning Staff and those that work for the Coal Industry & Social Welfare Organisation all attended the event, which included an introduction to I.T, information on Diet, Fitness & Healthy Eating, a display of NUM Archive History & a "Pick Up A Free Book initiative" that was aimad at encouraging people back into reading. The theme was based on promoting learning both in the traditional form and through introduction to I.T & the benefits that learning provides.
A number of local people called in responding to the NUM's poster campaign & partook of the free refreshments available. Visitors also included a number of Local Councillors & Former NUM Branch Officials who were impressed by the work of the NUM's project this has resulted in a meeting being arranged with the Project Team & the Full council for Mid July.
The Project were also pleased to welcome Mark Ball from the Regional Unionlearn Office in Leeds to the event. The success of the initiative can be measured by the number of people in attendance, which numbered over 100 in total. Len, George and Alan who make up one of the regular "Card Schools" wer impressed with the books & reminisced about their mining careers to Groundwork Members Julie & Jade. Julie also contributed to the discussions by describing her experiences in the 1984/1985 "Miners Strike"& the hardships suffered by so many families in the Mining Communities.
Caroline Reminisced about her Father in Law who had worked for 38 years at Sharlston Colliery. Two of the CISWO staff Ian & Kevin were Particularly impressed with the Archive Display. 77 years old Ged was pleased to have ben able to attend and asked if there would be a similar event next year as he had thoroughly enjoyed it!
Pictured L-R Maurice Kent (Project Worker) Jack Kershaw (Ex AcKton Hall NUM Official) Carole Grason David Grason (Ex AcKton Hall & Kellingley NUM) Chris Skidmore (NUM Project Manager) Clive Tennant (Ex Wistow NUM Official)
Through our links with the UnionLearn Project we have been able to provide computers for the Sharlston Miners Welfare(Kibble) with the intention of setting up a permanent learning centre in the club.Hopefully this will generate enthusiasm in the community and encourage more people to use the club. We have developed links with Park Lane College and in partnership with Thornycroft Recreational Miners Centre we are very hopeful of providing courses that the members have expressed a desire to participate in, in the near future. it is of major importance that our Miners Welfares and Social Clubs are fully utilised as they are still a focal point in our communities.
We have also established links with Barnsley M.B.C education department and are hopeful that we can not only provide eductional opportunities for our membership but can also provide children with an interest in their own "community history and heritage"
We continue to attend Branch Meetings and provide information about TUC courses that are taking place. We need more meetings with Colliery Management in order that we can reach a mutually agreeable and acceptable arrangement for time off to attend these courses. We also need to emphasise the mutual benefit for all concerned.
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