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Supporting Improved Learning Opportunities for Hard to Reach Groups through the use of Participatory Arts
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Aug 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The AIM of SILO is to address issues of adult social exclusion, expounded by lack of basic competencies and lifelong learning opportunities. The OBJECTIVE is to provide pedagogy, to enable our target group of practitioners to engage and support their beneficiaries i.e. socially excluded adults, to achieve validated competencies supported by distance travelled methodology, by engaging in non-formal learning via participatory arts projects. 24.2% of the population (EU27) is at risk of poverty or social exclusion and reduction of this number is one of the five headline targets of Europe 2020. Learning can directly provide the skills, knowledge and qualifications that are important in social and labour market participation. The Council recommendation of 20.12.12 on non-formal/informal learning stated that “the validation of learning outcomes acquired through non-formal learning can play an important role in enhancing employability .. as well as increasing motivation for lifelong learning, particularly in the case of the socio-economically disadvantaged”. SILO will tackle those issues by providing new pedagogy for practitioners to: a. Engage socially excluded adults via participatory art projects. Participatory arts cover the full range of art forms and involve an artist working with at least one other person to take part in a process that the artist has facilitated. Arts Council England found that the ability of participatory arts to “address priorities and provide cost- effective responses to what sometimes seem intractable social problems is not widely acknowledged and often not capitalised upon”. b. Validate the non-formal learning from participatory arts projects to enable achievement towards key competencies and c. Support client progress by the assessment of distance travelled or the “journey of change” No products currently exist which combine all these elements for the benefit of the beneficiary and no pedagogy currently exists which provides comprehensive support to practitioners to develop a participatory arts programme to include all these elements. Our direct target group is practitioners within organisations working with socially excluded adults. These could be practitioners in adult and community learning organisations; arts based organisations; social and health care sector. We will also target managers and policy makers both domestically and within the EU, covering the three types of practitioner detailed above ,and practitioners within other sectors and specifically those working with young people who are NEET and young people at school. During the project: • 100+ practitioners in our direct target group will be involved in focus groups • 120+ of our target group will be involved in launch events • 20+ policy makers will be involved in a policy panel in the UK and a further 20 will be contacted by other methods • 50+ of our target group will be involved in the final conference in the UK along with 5 international participants Beneficiaries of SILO methodology are socially excluded adults and up to 50 beneficiaries will be involved via the participatory arts tests and beneficiary focus groups. We have four IO’s supported by a range of management and administration tasks covering dissemination, management of risk, quality, monitoring and evaluation. Key outputs are listed below: a. Production of a BASELINE AND LITERATURE REVIEW – social exclusion, engagement, participatory arts, non-formal learning, validation, key competencies, distance travelled b. Development of the SILO PEDAGOGY – produced as a series of training modules covering the topic above available via download from the SILO website c. Production of the SILO BEST PRACTICE FILM to support the training modules d. To ensure our products develop to meet real need: • 5 PARTICIPATORY ARTS TESTS with beneficiaries • 5 BENEFICIARY FOCUS GROUPS • 5 PRACTITIONER FOCUS GROUPS e. Production of the SILO POLICY AND RECOMMENDATIONS REPORT and review with the POLICY PANEL. We will LAUNCH SILO in Spain, Poland, Greece and Bulgaria and at a FINAL CONFERENCE in the UK Our methodology includes: • Involvement of all partners during bid development and throughout delivery. • Clarity of partner roles and responsibility. • Allocation of tasks to ensure a balance of work building on expertise, strengths and interests • Production of a detailed work plan supported by a partnership information pack and SLA • Regular monitoring/quality review and feedback, providing opportunities to build a common understanding of quality, key issues, and concerns and of actions that need to be taken. • Establishment of clear communication channels Our long term aim is for the SILO methodology to be recognised and utilised specifically in the partner countries but also within other EU countries and ultimately for socially excluded adults to become engaged and be able to gain the key competencies by involvement in participatory arts projects,

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