ACT Accrington is 5

This weekend marks the 5th Anniversary of the opening of the ACT Centre based at 25  ACT 5 Flyer frontWarner Street, Accrington, Lancashire

To celebrate, the centre will be open this Saturday (15th) from 10am – 4pm for members of the public to have a look around and enrol on a course for free.

The project also has a BIG BLUE BUS which will be parked outside the Market Hall. On board the bus you will be able to find out about ACT Accrington as well as take a look at some of the learning campaigns  they are involved in.

Since being established in 2009, ACT Accrington has helped, trained and supported local people: Here are the facts:


  • 300 individuals have received structured Information, Advice and Guidance about learning
  • Helped 133 learners improve their English skills
  • Trained and supported 108 Maths students to achieve new qualifications
  • Trained 167 people to gaining  new IT skills and qualifications
  • Supported 9 residents at Rough Lee House with physical disabilities and/or learning difficulties to complete a basic IT and digital inclusion course
  • Advised and supported a further 103 learners to find other courses with alternative providers
  • Provided  training and support to local employers by providing work place learning opportunities for their staff
  • Provided  outreach training to Crown Paints, Darwen in partnership with GMB  Reach Out.
  • Developed a community support initiative and project with local faith communities
  • Offered employment Advice and Guidance sessions and courses for those out of work or made redundant.
  • Created and sustained four permanent jobs in Accrington
  • Invested over £150,000 in the ACT Centre and its projects


2014 has been the busiest yet and has seen the centre delivering courses on a daily basis. Accrington resident Lisa Mullan took over the day to day coordination of activity at the ACT centre.  Lisa was one of the first learners to attend ACT Accrington and has since taken up full time employment as well as several qualifications with the project. She works alongside Marek who is also an ACT Centre “graduate” :


Lisa stated:

“The Centre offered me an alternative to college – which was not my thing – I saw college as an intimidating place meant for others.  The ACT Centre on the other hand was small, informal and somewhere I felt relaxed. I felt welcomed and important. I am now a full time project worker at the ACT Centre working with and supporting people in Accrington.  I enjoy sharing my life experiences with others and helping them as ACT helped me to flourish.”

 The ACT Centre works closely with other local agencies to ensure there is a wide range of  support available, whether people are in work, currently unemployed or simply want to learn a new skill. Two fully qualified trainers are located at the Centre offering Functional Skills in Numeracy & Literacy and IT Skills.


Kevin Flanagan, Director of St Antony’s Centre commenting on the Anniversary stated;


“ACT Accrington has gone beyond our dreams .  As our first community based learning centre it has set a benchmark of good practice and training to the community. We wanted to respond to local needs by providing services for the community that were being missed by the larger learning organisations and agencies.  Based on its success in Accrington we have now established a further 6 centre’s across the Northwest. Key to its success  is placing the needs of the person first, listening carefully to their needs and those of the community, I have been inspired by the likes of Lisa and Marek who work at the Centre and who have gone on to inspire others. We look forward to another 5 years and what it will bring!!”


You can follow ACT Accrington on Twitter (@ACT_Accrington) or call them on 01254 238 443 for details of the courses they offer.


Climb Aboard, Get Online

This week, as part of Get Online Week, we are working in partnership with Great Places Housing Group to help people access the internet and get online for the first time.


Our trusty blue bus will be touring the region promoting the benefits of being online and assisting those who may find it a little daunting.

See here for details of where the bus will be and tell your neighbours, colleagues and friends – especially if they are new to the internet – there are even a couple of Samsung Galaxy Tablets up for grabs!!!

The GMB Reach Out bus is a great way of adding significant visibility to a learning event you may be planning.  If you could use it, then please let a member of the team know – just fill in the form below: