Adult and Family Learning Service

10th November 2017

The Rt. Hon Sir Mike Penning, Member of Parliament for Hemel Hempstead met with an inspiring group of Hertfordshire Adult and Family Learning Service (HAFLS) adult learners.

The visit gave the local MP a chance to meet individuals who had directly benefitted from dedicated mentor support through tailored programmes, designed to help them overcome life challenges. This gave him the opportunity to see first-hand the positive impact Community Learning has on adult education in his constituency.

At Sunnyside Rural Trust, he spoke to participants of Building Better Opportunities (BBO), funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund, which aims to tackle the root causes of poverty and unemployment, to improve skills for residents. Here, the MP heard from local partners including Community Action Dacorum and South Hill Centre, as they explained how they had achieved their goals with the support of the BBO programme; helping people to enter employment, undertake further training or overcome confidence issues.

Sir Mike Penning said: “Having continued my studies at the age of 41, I believe in education, no matter how old you are or how difficult your early experiences have been. It’s vital that organisations work in partnership to meet the needs of our local community and provide effective support, education and advice to our most vulnerable residents.”

The visit ended with a trip to local charity DENS, where HAFLS run circuit training classes for local homeless people. The fitness class is part of several classes delivered by HAFLS to help residents take their next step back into employment.

Executive Member for Adult Care and Health, Colette Wyatt-Lowe, said: “It’s critical that adult education and particularly Community Learning is given the focus it deserves in the context of the success of our county and I’m delighted Sir Mike Penning took the time to meet a fantastic group of learners from a variety of HAFLS projects and initiatives.”

HAFLS courses make a difference to vulnerable adults by improving participant’s overall health and wellbeing, through an extensive range of learning opportunities. This leads to greater engagement within their local community as they are able to overcome their barriers and gain suitable employment.

To find out more about HAFLS and the local partners they work with across Hertfordshire, visit

Contact HAFLS at or call 01992 556194.

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