Becki Coombe, Founder of The Learn2 Group tells us why her organisation joined the Progress partnership, what she enjoys the most about working with young people and why you should always surround yourself with like-minded people.
Tell us a bit about your organisation…
I founded The Learn2Group in 2007 to work with young people who struggle to learn in mainstream learning environments, for a range of reasons. Learn2 aim to provide a more 'homely' learning environment where small groups and individuals, both with and without specific or additional learning needs, develop their English, Maths and Employability skills and in many cases gain certificated qualifications.
What is your role in Progress?
We provide weekly opportunities for young people to work on remembering previous English and Maths knowledge and develop their skills in preparation for them sitting a Functional Skills exam at their appropriate level.
Since the beginning of the Progress programme, we have delivered in Coventry, Nuneaton, Camp Hill, Lillington, Stratford-upon-Avon and Atherstone. We may be delivering in Bedworth and Southam in the near future also.
Why do you think that Progress is important and what do you think it offers the young people enrolled on the programme?
Learners that we have met are often re-joining education and/or training after a number of years and/or after having negative experiences in other academic institutions in previous years. In addition, many of our Progress learners share feelings of being anxious in new and in group situations. As such, Progress learners appear to welcome and appreciate our small group sizes (usually a maximum of six) and having the same delivery team each week.
We have been extremely pleased to see our learners appearing to build social relationships within their home locations which provide a fantastic secondary outcome. Our Progress learners also benefit from having the opportunity to gain a formal qualification, which they can use to apply for jobs or further education and training courses.
What do you enjoy the most about working with those enrolled in Progress?
We love spending time with our learners! Predominantly aged 18-25, these are young adults that have stories and achievements to share and more importantly, aspirations that we are privileged to often be able to help explore.
The funny thing about us delivering English and Maths sessions for Progress is that we often find we are not teaching our learners, but more helping them to remember by offering them a different perspective which they find easier to understand and apply.
We truly feel grateful for them letting us share in their personal and academic development.
Who is your inspiration in life?
I agree with those that say you should surround yourself with other positive and like-minded people.
I am very lucky to have an extremely supportive and friendly family who I can model my behaviour through. Seeing my little nieces grow up in our modern world inspires me to provide them with the best and safest of learning and life experiences.
In addition, I have been a member of a number of business networking groups consistently since 2007. I am very fortunate to know and spend time with a number of inspirational small business owners whom I can share our challenges and successes with. Regularly these have led to inspirational ideas!
What would be your words of wisdom or encouragement to any young person or any business or organisation who is considering joining or getting involved with Progress?
As a founder of a business and a charity and someone who has won a number of business awards, I truly believe that no-one ever achieves completely on their own...
1) Keep your eyes and ears open, take advantage of opportunities and resources as there are plenty out there.
2) Take time to identify your strengths and weaker areas. Support others in areas that you are good at and take the time to learn how to improve your weaker ones, as well as asking for help.
3) Do not problem solve in silence! Ask others for their opinions and experiences and for help when you need it.
Find out more about The Learn2 Group and our other Progress partners in our Partner Directory.