The Melton Learning Hub

The Melton Learning Hub is an alternative education provider for young individuals in Leicestershire. It formed as a charity in 2012 to tackle the increasing levels of anti-social behaviour in Melton.

The Learning Hub has been tremendously successful over the past few years, with the rate of truancy and disruptive behaviours decreasing by 85%. It operates on three different sites:

The Learning Hub:

The Learning Hub offers various educational opportunities ranging from beautician to construction & plumbing courses. Through Craft students have the opportunity to try various aspects and then specialise in one to gain a qualification. Courses are also offered in animal husbandry, horticulture as well as English and Maths. The alternative courses that The Learning Hub provides develops social skills as well as practical skills, and in turn increases the likelihood of young individuals gaining employment.

The Country Park Café:

The Country Park Café is a space of relaxation and leisure for the young individuals as well as others, in fact the young individuals actually work at the café learning several catering and employability skills. The café also holds two fetes a year, which often include bouncy castles, various team games, stalls, BBQ's and a football tournament for several families to enjoy.

The Venue:

The Venue is one of the newest sites and hosts various catering, sport and physical activities as well as being a space of leisure and social interaction. The Venue offers a free hot meal every Friday and hosts various youth clubs and homework clubs throughout the week, these sessions are typically ran by volunteers.

The Melton Learning Hub offers an alternative education to ensure every young individual has an opportunity to succeed, and that those who do not cope well with mainstream education are also catered for. The Hub has recently expanded its available courses to include plumbing, plastering and decorating skills as part of the Craft qualification. The SHIRE Grant has enabled the purchase of tools and equipment for the learners to develop these new skills.

Thu, 22 Feb 2018
The Melton Learning Hub
Zahra Aziz
Andy Hayes


Sample of craft products produced by local residents to support vulnerable individuals from different neurodiverse conditions

Sunny Skies Enterprise CIC - supports adults with learning disabilities to learn valuable work and life skills.

Due to Covid-19 they had to close their doors but to ensure they were able to support the people they work with, they applied for a Leicestershire Communities Fund grant and were awarded £540 to deliver video online sessions with their members and a series of craft activities that were provided to support their members in their daily life. Through Zoom sessions with their members they also run dance and cooking lessons.

Feedback from members has been very positive, one beneficiary of the Zoom sessions said; '' In this unprecedented pandemic the zoom calls have been a tremendous help. Adults with learning difficulties have been isolated and have had to rely on these sources of communication as their lifeline. I can't emphasis enough how much Asha has enjoyed being part of them. It has been something that she looked forward to whilst we cope with all the pressures and high levels of anxiety''.

Craft products were designed and produced by their members, including personalised and hand made decorated plates and mugs to support their members with their mental health

Another local resident, Debbie Swoter said: "Edward, who is 32 and has Downs Syndrome, was confused and rather deflated as suddenly life was reduced to being confined to home 24/7 with the exception of once daily exercise; after a couple of weeks Zoe and Pippa got in touch and suggested virtual activity sessions to bring some normality and social interaction into our locked down world. What a blessing this Zoom has become! They 'Zoomed' into our home eight times a week, with music and dance, singing, exercise, art, games, quizzes and bingo, initially for an hour at a time but soon extending to 90mins as the young people were keen to talk at the end of the sessions. It was literally a lifeline and Ed's day revolved around these sessions."

Castle Donington Volunteer Centre's Covid response has been intense over the last 23 weeks, with employees and volunteers stepping up to provide necessary services throughout the Covid pandemic.

5 individuals are employed by Castle Donington Volunteer Centre, all of whom were essential to the uplift in workload.

At the same time, the Centre's appeal for new volunteers in the villages was phenomenally successful. 128 people have been able to provide support to the 11 villages that they cover.

It is estimated by the Volunteer Centre that by 24th August it had supported in excess of 300 residents with shopping delivers; this involved 1,385 shopping deliveries from the local shops, but also the delivery of frozen food produced by volunteers to vulnerable individuals with different conditions and personal situations.

Change in the cumulative number of shopping requests up to 17th August 2020 from 17th March 2020.

Residents that were isolated were delivered their prescriptions, in an agreement reached with the local GP's and Pharmacy; Castle Donington Volunteer Centre has made 350 prescription deliveries.

To support people feeling alone and without family support, a buddying call system was put in place. This is being provided in conjunction with Hospice Hope and more than 600 telephone support calls have been made.

Some other activities provided by the Centre have included:

  • 42 Post Office trips to provide people with the cash they needed and ensure that bills were paid.
  • 69 Dog walking activities
  • 37 visits to collect and redistribute Emergency Boxes donated by local people; These were targeted at people that were known to be struggling, including families identified in conjunction with a local school.
  • 37 Book packages loaned from an honesty book initiative;. The Centre has 2000 books available to loan.

Special Events / Services - VE Day Cream Tea

Wayne Tranmer, Chair of Volunteers of Castle Donington Volunteer Centre said:

'As VE Day had the potential to be a flop we provided a Cream Tea to

the over 75's and veterans, the population that were present on that day 75 years ago.

We sourced, baked, packed and delivered 318 teas before lunch on the 8th of May to rekindle

memories, cheer up those in our villages who lived through the times and remind them that

we were here for them''.