What we can deliver

The main aim of community learning and development is to help individuals and communities tackle real issues in their lives through community action and community-based learning.

This can prevent people falling into situations where they would make much greater demands on public expenditure, through ill-health, anti-social behaviour, unemployment and many other issues.We work in and with communities and reach out to people who might otherwise place future demands on services. We enable them to find ways of growing and developing.

This is not about community groups ‘running public services’. In some circumstances, that is appropriate. But far more important is strengthening the ability of communities to prevent the need for services from arising, and to develop in self-sustaining ways.

Adult learners on laptops

We have a particularly important role in supporting individuals and communities through key transitions:

  • In the early years, through working with families
  • For young people moving into the adult community and the world of work
  • For all who through lack of skills, ill health or other negative experiences need the chance to change and make progress
  • For older people, keeping them active and in the community for longer
  • For communities experiencing significant changes such as regeneration or environmental challenges
  • For migrants and refugees, and their host communities.
  • To help communities to keep and build engagement with public services at a time of pressure and reorganisation.

Our work therefore helps to deliver outcomes that relate to all five of the national Strategic Objectives and to national policy frameworks including:

  • Achieving Our Potential
  • Equally Well
  • Early Years Framework
  • Curriculum for Excellence, both by building the potential of young people and working with their families and communities.

We also have an important contribution to make to the redesign of public services across the board.  Helping communities to engage with service providers means that services are more efficiently targeted to local needs.

We are in the business of making connections – between people, partners, and issues.  We can be key contributors to relationship building and partnership working.  COSLA, in evidence to the Independent Budget Review, argues that:

The real focus should be on transformational change and at the heart of this should lie the most effective ways to deliver the right services in the future.

We believe that our expertise and approaches can inform and assist this process across a wide range of services.

Read examples of work in Scotland’s local CLD services.


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