A COMMUNITY learning centre is celebrating landing almost £300,000 of lottery funding which will see many more adults benefit from its courses.
Horizons Community Learning CIC, based in Stonehouse Drive, St Leonards, has been awarded a Reaching Communities Big Lottery grant of £299,817 over three years.
The funding is for adult learning and volunteering, and will enable Horizons to extend its range of courses and volunteering opportunities.
Horizons will work with vulnerable adults of all ages, to offer learning opportunities to them, and encourage active engagement and volunteering in their neighbourhoods.
Laura Cecil, senior development worker, said: “This really has secured the future, it is great news for us.
“In terms of the work we do, the funding sustains the project for three years.”
Horizons has just completed its first year as a community-based social enterprise, though the launch of the lottery-funded project set for April, coincides with the 20th anniversary of Horizons as an organisation.
It has grown from small beginnings to employ eight core staff, with a pool of 15 tutors, 50 to 60 volunteers, and 300 to 400 students.
Hastings MP Amber Rudd said: “This is great news for Hastings.
“Horizons does fantastic work helping adults achieve qualifications, building their knowledge and confidence.
“The latest census (2011) shows that 25.4 per cent (18,649) of adults in Hastings have no educational qualifications.
“This grant will enable Horizons to work with some of those adults to get them the qualifications that they need to improve their lives.
“I am delighted for Sonia Plato and her team who run an inspirational service at the Four Courts.”
Horizons serves the adult community in deprived areas of Hastings and St Leonards with a large range of free qualifications and training opportunities, many supported by a free crèche.
The majority of learners are unemployed and with few or no qualifications, and Horizons works with a wide range of partners across the town to ensure the best outcomes for its students.
Potential students will each undergo an information, advice and guidance interview, to ensure that the opportunities offered best suit their needs.