Adult Learners Week took place in June, organised by Learning Work Cymru it is the UK’s largest annual global learning festival, taking place in over 55 countries worldwide. In wales alone each over 10,000 adults in Wales participate. Its aim is to raise awareness of the value of adult learning, celebrate the achievements of learners and providers, and inspire more people to discover how learning can positively change their lives. This year Chwarae Teg were proud to be involved! As part of this week long event, we partnered with Race Equality First and delivered a day’s training: Building Skills, Building Networks and Building Confidence, developed and delivered by our Learning Development Partner Kathryn Foot. The day was specifically for BAME women living in South East Wales.

9 women attended, all of different ages and from different backgrounds, with very different experiences, however they shared one commonality – significant barriers to employment. One participant had recently been made redundant after 14 years and was seeking new employment, another had an interview lined up, two had only been in the UK for 9 months and were adjusting to their new home and way of life and others had been here for several years, and although held skilled jobs as lecturers/educators in their home country, yet had not worked since moving here.

Chwarae Teg were able to develop bespoke training that enabled participants to consider their current skills, discover their passions and look at ways in which they could develop their network and skills through volunteering, employment and further learning. Our trainers are skilled, and despite the differences of education, experience and confidence we were able to deliver a session that suited all individual’s needs. On the day the group reviewed skills, talents, strengths, interests, past experiences and discussed the significant barriers faced (and not just language, but confidence and their experiences – they have witnessed atrocities one could not even imagine). We discussed prejudices and society, and with the help of two wonderful translators, their confidence building shone through.

An important aspect of the day was considering avenues to build their network and further their learning, so they can gain skills and confidence. The group shared ideas, and a few even offered to volunteer for Race Equality First – a significant step as this was something they would never have considered.

It was certainly a humbling day for Kath who delivered it. Being able to motivate and inspire women who want to develop, but have no idea how, was a hugely rewarding experience.

Feedback was excellent – all left feeling more confident and more self-aware. They enjoyed being with like-minded people, making friends and spending time thinking about themselves.

It was a great opportunity for Chwarae Teg and enabled us to show the different aspects of our work. We are working towards a Wales where women of all backgrounds, cultures and ages can prosper, and this opportunity enabled us to reach participants who can really benefit from what we offer.