Adventures in Learning

Adults from the Woodberry Down area of Hackney are taking part in a scheme that aims to boost their confidence, self esteem, learning and future prospects through sport and physical activity.

Adventures in Learning combines exciting activities such as canoeing, sailing, rock climbing, and health and fitness with guidance and advice for local people aged 19 and over who are classed as NEET - Not in Education, Employment or Training, or those suffering from, or recovering from, mild mental health illnesses.

Taking part in the scheme will increase participants physical activity levels over a sustained period. This may lead to improved physical and mental health wellbeing and improve life chances by boosting confidence through the learning of new skills. The project will also raise awareness of local opportunities for further learning, qualifications and employment.

Martin Bloomfield was one of the first people to sign up for Adventures in Learning. He said: “I’m learning new things all the time and really getting into climbing. I think I’m doing really well especially as I’m afraid of heights and it’s great that I get to do this in Hackney.”

The scheme is being delivered by Hackney Council and local partners. Cllr Nargis Khan, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Community Services said: “There are many different and creative avenues to take when considering how to enhance your future prospects. I am very pleased that Hackney s Leisure and Physical Activity Service are working with local partners, to create such a positive, life-enhancing project for local people. Adventures in Learning is a great chance to learn new skills, get access to experienced mentors, socialise and find out about local job, training or educational opportunities - so get involved."

Hackney Council is funding the scheme via a grant from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills’ Transformation Fund - which provides grants for local projects focused on innovative ways of informal learning. Other partners involved are Genesis Community - a sector of a London housing association that runs community development programmes for its residents, Greenwich Leisure Limited - the borough’s leisure centre operators, Castle Climbing Centre - a local climbing facility and On the Pulse Fitness Ltd- a small community enterprise.

Sessions take place throughout the week and are free to the user. The scheme will run in two phases, from now until 12 December 2009 with a second programme from January to March 2010.

For more information, or to book a place, visit the Hackney Council website: or email: or telephone: 020 8356 2230.

Media contact: Karyn Michael, email:, telephone: 020 8356 3261.