The Gwynedd and Môn Community Education Network offers courses from as far afield as Holyhead in the north to Dolgellau in the south. This partnership reflects the diverse culture within its boundaries and responds well to the linguistic needs of learners in this Welsh speaking area.
The Network's aim is to develop a coherent, comprehensive and high quality range of community learning opportunities which respond to learners' needs and lead them to further education, employment or training, and also promote well-being.
The partnership was inspected by Estyn in February 2010 and still remains the only ACL Partnership in Wales to gain excellent judgements for all aspects of its work.
Partnership members include: Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor, ALW, Welsh for Adults Centres, Anglesey and Gwynedd County Councils, Communities First clusters, Bangor University, Age Well, Open University, CAIS, Medrwn Môn and Mantell Gwynedd, Careers Wales, North & Mid Wales Reaching Wider Partnership, Hyfforddiant Parys Training, Digartref Ynys Môn, CAB.
What our students say:
In 2016 Angharad was working full time in a hotel. The work was stressful, hours unsociable and with a young family Angharad found herself becoming more and more stressed. "I was constantly run down and ill, I never had a chance to relax. I felt guilty that I wasn’t there enough for my children." After having her first child at 17, Angharad went back to finish her A levels and was a stay at home mum for a few years before starting a job as a Christmas temporary worker in a supermarket, before getting a job in the hotel industry. "My confidence was really knocked because I’d been out of work and education for so long. I was so busy with work and family life that I was never able to go out and socialise." After seeing a Facebook post on from Coleg Menai about an "Introduction to Childcare" course Angharad decided to get in touch. "I was so scared to come in for an interview. I was terrified! But the tutor was so nice and made me feel completely comfortable. It was really informal. IT was so good to know there was financial help available for people who needed it. I was worried because I was working full time, but work had a policy and had to grant leave for educational courses, so I was able to take the time off. I knew it would be hard fitting everything in, but I was determined. I knew this would be the best thing for me and my family in the long run."
Angharad started her course in Ty Cyfle, Holyhead a couple of weeks later "I was so nervous, but the group were so lovely. A lot of us had children and it was great to speak to other mums. The tutors were so laid back, and all the staff were lovely. Walking in the reception staff made me feel completely at ease." Introduction to Childcare is a course for people who want to work in childcare. Our courses are designed for adults who may have been out of education for some time. "I loved the course! I really enjoyed learning again. I particularly enjoyed the employability module. I learned so much and go in to interviews so much more confident now. I was amazed how much I got out of it, seeing as I was already in full time employment! I also loved making the story sacks, it was an opportunity to be really creative. I chose "Doctor Dan" which is a Welsh book which my children love! I even enjoyed doing some maths, I failed maths in school and to be honest I had a bit of a complex about it. When I got my certificates for maths I actually cried I was so proud of myself. I loved how easy it was to ask for help, the tutors were always so open and would reply to emails if I didn’t want to ask in class. It really felt like I was getting eased back in to learning after a long break."
After 12 weeks in college, the learners go on to a placement of their choice. "I chose to go on placement to St Mary’s School, I didn’t know anyone there and wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone. My confidence and gone from strength to strength since starting the course but I was still really shy and quiet to begin with. Something which is hard to believe now! The teacher who I supported really helped me come out of my shell. Everyone was so nice! I was so sad to finish my placement, so I asked if I could stay on and complete a NVQ level 2 there. I completed this over a year and had an interview as a temporary Teaching Support Assistant after finishing it. I felt so much more confident in the interview, I used the skills I’d learned in college. People around me believed in me, this was such a confidence boost. Half an hour later I got the call that I’d got the job and I screamed! A year on I have a permanent contract as a one- to-one support assistant. I’m working towards my NVQ level 3 now and am always accepting more responsibility to better myself. I’ve even been nominated as the Parent Governor for the school now! Attending Coleg Menai has totally changed my life. My work fits around my family life, we are all so much happier. I’m financially better off, we’ve moved house and gone on more holidays. I am excited to go in to work on Monday, the work is so rewarding. It was hard but it was totally worth it. I’d recommend anyone to give it a try, you should work to live not live to work. I’m so glad I took that chance, I feel like a good role model for my children. Thanks to all the wonderful staff at Coleg Menai and at St Mary’s School."