Lifelong learning at the heart of Community Fair

By Jamie Hill - 21 October 2019

Social EnterpriseVolunteering

A community fair which will celebrate Swindon’s vibrant voluntary sector will be supporting a lifelong learning initiative.

Voluntary Action Swindon (VAS), in partnership with Swindon Social Enterprise Network, is holding its annual Community Fair at the Link Centre in West Swindon on Wednesday (23 Oct) and 37 organisations will be on hand to tell the public all about the services they offer.


The theme for this year’s event is Swindon as a Learning Town, in support of the lifelong learning initiative of the same name.


Swindon: Learning Town is an initiative to promote inclusive, lifelong learning and has been inspired by the UNESCO Learning Cities network, which Swindon aims to be a part of.


The fair will take place between 9am and 4pm.


Anish Harrison, Swindon Learning Town project lead, said: “Swindon is a great place to be a learner, at any age and at any stage. From the colleges and other formal learning opportunities, courses at the library, University of the Third Age, family activities alongside fantastic arts and STEM organisations, Swindon offers some great avenues to broaden your horizons.


“Alongside this are ways in which you can learn and engage with the community as a volunteer. The Community Fair really showcases what is on offer for people who want to connect and learn in this way.”


Pam Webb, CEO of Voluntary Action Swindon (VAS), added: “We are delighted to be hosting our annual Community Fair – it’s an opportunity to learn about and celebrate the vibrant voluntary sector we are fortunate to have in Swindon.


“It is also an opportunity for people to come along, have a chat and learn about how organisations might be able to help them or their family and, in turn, how they may be able to help organisations through volunteering and sharing their skills as part of the learning journey. The VAS team very much looks forward to welcoming people to the Community Fair.”


Stall holders such as New College, The Swindon Volunteer Centre, TWIGS, Swindon Advocacy Movement, Swindon Art Group, and Learning for Life will all be under the same roof, to provide attendees with advice and support. Many other stall holders will also be there, highlighting health, wellbeing, and other learning opportunities in the local area.


Alongside this, the Swindon Social Enterprise Network will be holding its inaugural conference at the same venue, encouraging local entrepreneurs to think about economic models which support social change.


Councillor Russell Holland, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance, Education and Skills, said: “The third sector is a great way to explore learning and other opportunities to fulfil people’s potential so I am really pleased VAS is supporting our Learning Town initiative.


“This promises to be a really great event, particularly as it coincides with the first Swindon Social Enterprise Network conference which will support the growth of social enterprise initiatives within the town.”


The Community fair is free and complimentary tea and coffee will be provided

For more information on Voluntary Action Swindon go to or for more information on the fair contact [email protected]


For more information on Swindon Learning Town, go to www.swindonlearningtown.comor contact Anish Harrison by emailing [email protected]

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