Learning for Health and Well-Being | Adult Learning Wales

Learning for Health and Well-Being


The onset of the Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent periods of lockdown with all that has presented, has underlined for all the importance of our health and well-being. The current challenges we all face see us needing to look after our minds as well as our bodies perhaps more than ever. With our new term starting we chatted with members of our South West and Mid Wales team (Peter, Karina, and Cecilia) and discussed some of our forthcoming courses.

Hello All! I hope you are all well. We all know that learning benefits us in many ways and the last few months has really emphasised that hasn’t it?
Peter: Yes, our courses are a great space for people to get together and socialise while engaged in activity, and the pandemic has highlighted just how vital this can be. With the continued uncertainty around the pandemic a course can also provide valuable ‘structure’ to a week and where for some learners where being in groups is a challenging experience, regular attendance of a weekly group is in itself, a tremendous achievement.

Karina: Face to face sessions are the bedrock of our learning but for as long as we need to, we are also offering our learning online via Microsoft Teams. Our Drama and Performing Arts courses are working towards an end of term virtual performance.

Cecilia: Yes, and throughout the pandemic, we’ve continued to offer a variety of courses with weekly online sessions which have provided learners with significant support during these difficult times.

So what types of courses do we have coming up which aim to boost our minds, our health and our well-being?

Peter: I think all of our courses would do that! Our Art and Wellbeing courses such as those we’re running with MIND in Aberystwyth are a great example. The courses cover a range of art skills and techniques. And be it under ‘normal’ circumstances in a face-to-face classroom or a virtual online session, the courses provide a supportive space for learners to meet and interact.

Karina: A great prospect for those seeking to develop their communication, coordination and memory skills would be our Drama and Performing Arts courses such as those with Pontardawe Drama Group. The course runs weekly on a Monday (currently online) and helps development through drama, dance and music.

Cecilia: Our Partnership work with the Pont Hafren Association (based in Newtown) is very rich, and we deliver a good range of activities to their members and community members including Art, Craft, Jewellery Making, Art & Wellbeing, Social Enterprise, Life Skills courses - including Coping with Change, Resilience, Emotional Health & Wellbeing, Confidence Building, Anger Management and Managing Emotions. We also deliver Volunteering and Mentoring courses and Essential Skills such as Digital Literacy and Teamwork Skills. Extra curriculum activities such as Educational Visits to different parts of Wales and the UK are also offered.

Do learners on these courses gain qualifications?
(All): Yes our courses are usually accredited at entry level to level 2. Some non-accredited courses including the drama and performing arts and some of our arts and crafts courses are also offered for beginners to see if the learning subject is for them.

So what can our learners expect from our classes?
Peter: Our courses provided with our MIND partner have a real focus on well-being and personal development without learners feeling that they are on a personal development course! Our art tutor Helen Ingham, is also a qualified art therapist, so is very skilled at planning sessions which will bring out the best in learners. Learners are encouraged to experiment with their own ideas and interests and let their individuality grow.

Karina: Our Pontardawe Drama Group course provides an opportunity for learners to express themselves creatively in a safe space. Our tutors Stevie Fraser and Keith Ivett have a wealth of experience in teaching individuals with moderate to profound learning needs, and the course provides equal opportunity for learners to take centre stage according to their area of interest, whether dance, music, comedy or drama. Learners rehearse for an end of term performance and develop essential coordination, communication and memory skills as well as skills in British Sign Language.

Cecilia: Our courses focus on the physical and mental health and well-being of our learners, as well as helping develop the skills needed for everyday life and work. Our teachers, Tracy Fletcher, Tracey Hickman, Esther Thorpe and Megan Bowler are committed to enhance the lives of each learner attending the courses, where learners are encouraged to discuss their progression pathways for their further development.

This all sounds really good. How can learners get in touch and register their interest in our courses?

(All): All of our courses are online and our website is a great place to start. Full course details are provided and learners can enrol online. But we’re at the end of a phone too – and we’re always keen to chat!

Our thanks go to Peter, Karina and Cecilia from our South West and Mid Wales team. Keep up the good work and pass on our thanks to our tutors.

To keep up to date with our courses and to benefit your health and well-being through learning, visit www.adultlearning.wales. Or you can follow us on social media – we’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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