Job Vacancy

CLP Outreach Worker


Art Journalling Display

Would you like to take part in our art journalling display?

Journallers:   we need your help!   Whether you attend our Journalling Junkies group, or have taken an adult or family Art Journalling course, or even if you like to do it at home - we're sure you'll be interested in this!

Our Project Co-ordinator, and keen art journaller, Laura Martin, would like to turn a lot of blank pages like this.......

...... into to a beautiful display at our St Martin's base, and really showcase the amazing talent that you all share.


Our Art Journalling project is a significant part of CLP's wellbeing initiative, so it would be lovely to have a display with 'feelings' in mind. Your page could be about how you feel now, how you have felt in the past or how you would like to feel. Words, colours, pictures and textures could be used to represent your chosen feeling. It doesn't need to be all blue skies, happiness and confidence either. Sadness, fear, anxiety and anger are valid feelings, too. Junkies is a warm and safe environment that encourages sharing these and supporting one another.

Laura has a book of A5 white pages that she will take apart for you to use. If you want her  to post you a blank page to use, just let her know, but if you're happy to tear a page from the back of your beloved journal to use and send us, that would be great! 

Journalling Junkie meet-ups

If you need an excuse to come to a junkies session, or if you haven't been before, this is a great thing for you to focus on.  We meet every other Thursday from 7pm - 9.30 pm, and you can find information on our FaceBook page:  CLP Journalling Junkies.  Children and young people would also be welcome to create a page for display.

Send to:

We will be collecting pages over the next few weeks so if we could have yours by the end of November that would be great. Please drop them in, or send to:

Laura Martin
St Martin's Church
Muirfield Road
South Oxhey
WD19 6JD


Giving Tuesday

Did Black Friday Give you the Blues?

Black Friday has just passed, and I expect most of us have grabbed a bargain for our loved ones at Christmas-time. Your inbox was probably overflowing with emails from your favourite retailers, with promises of special offers and juicy discounts.  I know mine was, and yes, I did succumb! There's no doubt about it - this is an important time of the year for lots of businesses, and if we can save a few pounds along the way, well, it's a win-win situation.

However, if we're not careful, Black Friday can also be a time of excess.  A time when those bargains persuade us to spend more than we would otherwise have done, and that puts us under a lot of pressure to buy too much 'stuff'.  It can lead to us feeling like we've overdone it, rather like indulging in too much rich food and drink over the holiday period.

And is it just me - or did you actually shout at your computer screen?  'Hey!  I'm not saving money here; I'm SPENDING it!!'  Yes, that's what Black Friday is:  a day of spending your hard-earned cash. I checked out Wikipedia to find its origins, and apparently the term may have come about to signify the point in the year when retailers began to make a profit, thus going from being 'in the red' to being 'in the black'.  It's not actually about us at all.  It's about them.

And for what?  Christmas is but one day that lots of us quite rightly anticipate eagerly as we look forward to celebrating with our loved ones, and then it's gone, leaving us with the damp promise of a gloomy January and bills that might take us some months to clear.  If you've got young children, you'll know that  lots of those presents are going to be stuffed in the toy cupboard and never looked at again, and how many unwanted gifts will you receive and give away as raffle presents later on in the year?

Giving Tuesday

Black Friday doesn't really help anybody to live out the true meaning of Christmas, which is meant to be a time of new beginnings, hope and goodwill.  I think we all like to feel more generous with our time and money during the festive season.  Maybe you leave a bigger tip in your favourite restaurant; buy a copy of The Big Issue or drop some loose change in a busker's guitar case when you're travelling on the underground? Or maybe you volunteer your time at special events to help those less fortunate than you?

There is a real alternative to Black Friday, and that's Giving Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday is on 1st December, and it's a global day of giving when everybody can come together to show the world why it's good to give! It comes hot on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and, after spending a lot of money on consumer products, allows us to give back and spend time and money on causes that help others.

Let CLP Give you that Loving Feeling!

Would you like you like to take part in this year's Giving Tuesday?

If so, look no further - we can make it easy for you!!  As a registered charity, working in the most disadvantaged areas of Hertfordshire, we would welcome any support you feel able to give, no matter how small.

CLP is funded by government contracts and grant funding to deliver the innovative projects that our learners have come to know and love.  But maybe you don't know that only a tiny percentage of the funding we receive enables us to run our lovely little charity. Like the not-so-little matters of paying rent; telephones bills; internet; stationery; postage and salaries for the core team.

It is increasingly difficult to find grants that will pay for core costs because funders like to pay for projects that benefit others directly, which is understandable.  However, without having our core costs covered, it is difficult to plan strategically; retain and invest in staff and undertake all of the other standard business practices that ensure an organisation is sustainable.  We live pretty much hand-to-mouth, and have done so for ten years.  We're obviously doing something right, but now we want to move our charity to the next level so that we can plan to ensure that even more local people can benefit from engaging with us.  CLP is far from alone in finding creative ways to address this problem on a shoestring, but that doesn't make the task any easier.

In this academic year, CLP's priority is to become more sustainable as an organisation so that we can grow to run more family learning,  more arts and crafts, and have our Heavenly Arts and Crafts Cafe open more often. Why?  So we can serve our learners even better than we already do, and give them lots more opportunities that will help to progress on their journeys into further learning; volunteering and employment.  We want to help them to connect with us, with one another and with their communities to enrich local life for everybody.

We know how much it means to our learners to be able to have some time out during the week just for themselves.  Many of our clients are carers; have chronic health problems that get them down; struggle to make ends meet or feel burdened by anxiety and depression.  Others want to carve out some space for themselves during a busy week, and many want to learn new skills to enrich their lives and unlock the door to new opportunities.  Lots of parents/carers are also bewildered at the teaching methods used in schools, which have changed since they were at school themselves (particularly in English and maths), and our literacy and numeracy programmes help them to support their children.

The projects we run help people to transform their lives as they discover the joy of learning, and the benefits this brings:  feeling more confident; making new friends with shared interests; learning new skills; opening doors to a better life; improved family relationships ...the list goes on.

And this joy of learning isn't contained within the learner.  That would be impossible because learning isn't an insular activity.  It just bubbles up and out of them, so that others within the same communities get to know about the opportunities we make available to them, and they in turn go on to improve the quality of their lives by taking part.  Join up the dots, and together we're able to create learning communities in which more people can participate, which means more residents supporting one another; feeling less lonely; volunteering and contributing to the economic development of less affluent geographical areas such as South Oxhey and Borehamwood within our 'County of Opportunity'.

Lynda's Story

                                         Lynda receives her prize as runner-up in the family learning category

Lynda took part in our 'Highway Rat' storysack course with her grandson, which is based on the Julia Donaldson book of the same name.  She has caring responsibilities at home, including children with special needs, but always makes time for supporting Oakleigh, and improving her own skills.

Lynda didn't have a good experience of school herself, which has caused her to lack confidence as an adult, but this made her determined to do all she can to support her grandson's learning. 

One thing that made Lynda nervous was the joint adult and child sessions, where we embedded English  in fun activities, because she didn't consider herself to have any creative talent.  She says, 'I lacked so much confidence because I was never an arty person, and was never any good at school'.

However, with support and practice, CLP teachers could see that Lynda had an untapped talent for enjoying and reading stories, and responding to them in ways that developed not only her English and creative skills, but also those of her grandson.  By making learning fun, she was able to support Oakleigh in English in the classroom and at home.

Lynda's confidence grew so much that she became a key member of CLP's Big Lottery project  - 'LiteracyTakeaway Kit'. She volunteered weekly, with other learners, to make storysacks that can be borrowed by families in the South Oxhey area so that they, too, can nurture a love of reading in their children and take part in fun literacy activities at home.

In fact, Lynda made such progress that we nominated her for an Adult Learning Week Award, and her achievements were recognised at county level when she received a runner-up prize in the family learning category from Hertfordshire Adult and Family Learning Service (HAFLS)!

Now Lynda has gone on to another local provider, ASCEND, where, much to her surprise, she has developed enough literacy skills to work towards her level 2 qualification in functional skills.  She sent me a lovely text  that really touched me saying, 'Hi Liz, just wanted to share I'm back at school doing maths and English, both at level 2.  So pleased, and you have been part of that in helping me with your CLP work xxx'

Asked if she has a message for other learners, her advice is:  'Step out of your comfort zone, and try new things.'

Please can you help us continue our work?

If you could help us to be part of the solution to helping people like Lynda, who have so much untapped potential, you would support CLP to continue to make a real difference to the most amazing people in the most disadvantaged areas of Hertfordshire.

Although it's becoming harder to obtain, we nonethless do well in securing contracts to run community and family learning projects, but as I explained, it is extremely difficult to gain funding to cover core costs such as salaries, and this makes it hard for us to make long-term plans and to become a sustainable charity.  It really is a case of taking it year-by-year.

This isn't good enough.  We owe our learners more than that, and actually we owe it to our staff to give them better job security so that we can continue to give our best.  This year.  Next year. Into the future.  Isn't it ironic that when our learners need us most in these tough economic times, it becomes harder for charities like ours to secure funding to give them a hand up?  

You could help us in the following ways:

REGULAR GIVING:  Charity Checkout has made it possible for us to accept regular amounts by direct debit.  This is particularly beneficial to CLP as it will help us to plan for the future by knowing that we will have enough funds going forward to pay for staff and premises.  Once we've got that bit of the business right, we will have the capacity to increase the numbers of  family and community learning courses and projects that we run.  

We have the teachers and the expertise to run programmes, but there are hidden costs of planning, promoting, evaluating and administration that are difficult to claim for.  Small but regular amounts would really add up to make a difference, and we can claim Gift Aid if you pay more tax than your regular donation.  Just imagine, if only 100 of our supporters pledged £5 per month, that would add up to £6,000.00 per year - not counting any Gift Aid.  We can make that amount go a very long way!  
Please click on this Donate link  if you are able to give small sums beyond Giving Tuesday.

DONATE:  the lovely guys at Charity Checkout have also made it easy for you to make a donation, no matter how small.  Every little bit helps, and at CLP we make our money go a long way by using it wisely.  What's more, if you're a tax payer, it's likely that we can claim GiftAid, which makes your donation go further.  If you'd like to make a one-off donation this Giving Tuesday, just click the Donate button at the top right-hand corner of the page, and you'll be able to complete a straightforward form to make your gift to CLP.

VOLUNTEERING:  if you have some free time, and a particular skill, we would welcome you as a volunteer on an ad hoc or regular basis.  Perhaps you are experienced in helping charities to become sustainable or have business expertise that you could share?  Maybe you bake delicious cakes; have artistic talents or are able to help out at our events?

If you would like to be considered as a volunteer, please contact me at and I will get back to you.

Feel Good on Giving Tuesday

If you've been touched by Lynda's story of transformation, and would like to help us continue to support others to reach their potential, then please spare just a little of your cash or time to help CLP to grow and become sustainable.

It will make you feel good this Giving Tuesday, knowing that your support can help bring about positive change in people's lives during this season of goodwill and beyond.  This is a change that will ripple out into families, communities and down through to the next generation, helping to break cycles of underachievement and stunted potential.  How many presents bought on Black Friday or Cyber Monday can bring about a gift like that?

Remember, just click on the Donate button (if you are on PC/Laptop) or click this link if you would like to give a one-off donation or commit to making a small but regular payment.  Or email if you would like to volunteer.

Thank you for reading this blogpost, and I look forward to hearing from you.

With heart-felt thanks,



The Literacy Takeaway Kit Project

Welcome to the Literacy Takeaway Kit project page. We're glad you've come to visit us here ;)

Please stay tuned as we slowly unravel the project on this page.  We are excited as we will be adding interactive images and other bits and pieces as we go along so you can see progress and stay informed.

Our first interactive image ;) Thanks Thinglink
Please place your mouse over the image. You should see some hearts popping up. Put your mouse over each heart and find out what it says ;) . Thanks. ;)

 This project is funded by the "Big Lottery" fund, specifically "awards for all".

Our Funder's Logo:

awards for all logo and website link


33 Buckets Campaign

Thirty Three Buckets ?
Here at CLP, we've been planning way ahead of our charity status.  We've been listening over lovely tea & cake. After these amazing chats, we've taken note of the many wonderful things that have been shared! We want to get a feel for people's dreams and aspirations and to see how we can support these...

We are always on the look out for funding to try and make these dreams a reality. It is a hard slog when funding and people's aspirations are singing from the same Hymn sheet !!!...but when they are not...mmmmm.

This was before we were a charity !!!!

...And where the 33 buckets come in!

This is a campaign that we are working on. From launch, we will set a deadline of 3 months to sort out these thirty three buckets. These are not any ordinary buckets, they hold a specific secret.

Watch this space - we will be updating this post! 


clpfamilyfun charitable status

We Finally made it ;-) ...We've been recognized as a charity !!! ;-)

Since the 7th of Feb 2014 the charity commission made live our charity status! it's been a long road.

Go ahead and try and find us on the charity commission's website by either entering our shiny new official name: COMMUNITY LEARNING PARTNERSHIP LTD or charity number 1155750 into the site search.

A big thank you for all those who gave us a helping hand along the way ;-) we all did it! together!!!


CLP Family Fun Arts Week

We got parents & children through sooo much Arts & Crafts Fun ; )

On Friday 26th of July we gave a farewell to our parents and their lovely children. They had an intense, yet fun week full of arts & crafts activities...or well, they are all good at faking smiles ;)

Why not join our facebook arts group to see what families are creating together? click here.

We created a lovely collage highlighting some of the lovely work you all produced ;)

Below is a flickr slideshow showing some of the highlights from Thursday 25th of July. We loved having you. Thank you sooo much for participating.

Created with flickr slideshow.


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