EPALE UK are excited to announce the winner of our first Star Supporter Competition.
A special congratulations goes to our winner, Cath Harcula with her blog “Picture this! Wellbeing and older learners!”
Cath’s blog explored how participation in learning by older adults links to the five steps to wellbeing and reflected on research into the links between wellbeing, active ageing and adult learning for retired people. The blog includes personal experience of participation in a digital photo imaging community-learning course. Cath refers to a number of studies, which support the importance of wellbeing in older age and participation in adult learning activities.
Thank you to the EPALE UK team for organising the competition and to those who took the time to read my entry, like and comment. Taking part in the competition was good fun and and an opportunity to work on my blog writing skills. I encourage all EPALE users to join in and have a go at the next Star Supporter competition later in the year.
We would like to thank everyone who took part in the EPALE UK Star Supporter Competition by submitting a blog on the topic of ‘Health, wellness and adult learning’ and to our users who acted as judges by commenting and/or liking their favourite blog(s) entry/entries!
All users who entered the competition provided insightful blogs on activities in health, wellness and adult learning. We received seven entries in total. Each competition entree deserves a mention for raising the profile of how adult learning makes a difference to health and wellness.
A brief review of the key content from the Competition can be found below:
In her blog "Prevention and early intervention rather than ‘catch them when they fall’ approach", Ruth Spellman of the Workers' Educational Association (WEA) calls for more collaboration to share research on the impacts of education on mental health and the need for educational and health sectors to work more closely together. This appears to be supported by Jessica Russel of REACH Recovery College in her blog, “It’s Given Me Hope. It’s Given Me Options”, who asks if it is time for recovery education to go mainstream, as their co-produced course curriculums can be shared and executed anywhere they are needed to facilitate better health and wellbeing of learners.
“Change lives through the power of education”
The entries and comments leave no doubt as to the importance that Adult Learning and Lifelong Learning play in improving the health and wellness of individuals.
Our blog authors have highlighted that recognising the importance of Adult and Lifelong Learning is paramount by citing statistics showing the increase in health and wellness issues across the UK.
This has been highlighted by Cath Harcula's personal account of the benefits accrued by non-formal adult learning; in the stories of the benefits to disadvantaged learners in Lancashire of non-formal and informal community learning and stories of learners overcoming mental health and wellbeing issues through non-formal learning at REACH Recovery College in Essex; and also through adults returning to formal education in health sector at Higher education colleges.
Promoting lifelong learning
Comments support initiatives for lifelong learning and active ageing given national increases in life expectancy. They also support intergenerational approaches to reach “adults who have fallen out of the system” (Ruth Spellman, "Prevention and early intervention rather than ‘catch them when they fall’ approach") so they can not only fulfil their own potential, but also positively influence the young people around them to promote lifelong learning to future generations.
This comes through in Andrew Wright’s Part 1 and Part 2 blogs "Building Anxiety Heroes", which see him collaborating with schools to teach parents and carers about the neuroscience behind anxiety and encouraging them to venture out of their comfort zones, and help them to enjoy learning in the community and engage in family learning to support their children.
Overall, looking across the content on EPALE on health, wellness and adult learning published over the course of the EPALE UK NSS’ Star Supporter Competition, it is clear that learning can play a vital, if not a grassroots role in combatting health and wellness issues in adults.
The impacts of learning have been shown but can be further highlighted through sharing your stories, initiatives and experiences and through collaborating across organisations and sectors.
With this in mind, please continue to share your good practice with us at EPALE and continue to share your opinions and comments on this important topic on our page here.