The U is a project at The Young Foundation, an independent centre for social innovation that aims to tackle the root causes of inequality.
The U has developed a new kind of learning experience for communities. We operate in communities around the UK (with 12 local projects to date) and offer short learning sessions in useful topics like first aid, conflict resolution, and positivity. Learners gain practical skills in a short, lively, fun sessions. These free sessions are delivered in high street shops, cafés, pubs, leisure centres and other spaces where people congregate. The sessions draw on exceptional resources from organisations like British Red Cross and SLaM NHS Health Trust, and are delivered by trained volunteers from that community who are highly committed to ensuring learners have fun whilst learning, and that they leave feeling empowered to use their skills and more connected to their community. There are no ‘experts’ leading our learning sessions; we believe that the knowledge is shared between all who are attending and encourage everyone to draw on their personal skills and experiences.
The U works with around 900 learners a year and trains 60 volunteer facilitators who help to lead the learning session. We focus on engaging with groups who may have had a poor experience of formal education, or who don’t access many other learning and training opportunities.