For the last six weeks we have been delivering accredited IT sessions to local community members at the Great Lever Connected centre, you might ask what IT has to do with gardening and food growing, the answer is not a lot really, but part of what we strive to do at Bolton Urban Growers is to provide educational opportunities for those who are otherwise excluded for whatever reasons. This is reflected in the diverse background of students, including long term unemployed people, Muslim women, and people who cannot access local college services.
For many people from working class backgrounds going into formal further or higher education can be daunting for a whole list of reasons, so we hope that in some ways that we are able to offer a community based access to learning that people feel confident with and are able to access with the minimal fuss. During these sessions we also encourage students that’s are at a higher level of learning to help students who have newly enrolled on our courses, for us, there are no experts, only people with different levels of knowledge that can be transferred and shared around the group as when it is needed. We see these courses as being multi -functional, students gain a qualification that will either help them in education or employment, and we get to know more people who live in our community, and in turn students meet other students who live in their community and form bonds and friendships.