Learning to Live.
Learning is the key to living well and to having a successful life.
Life itself has no certainty while learning has value all the way through life. Mahatma Gandhi exhorted the great value of ‘living as if you were to die tomorrow but learning as if you were to live forever’. We help people to develop such an approach to life.
We reach out to individuals or organisations to share the benefits of learning on the mind, the body and the soul and enable them to reap the rewards for themselves. We pass on our experience and expertise in learning to enrich the lives of others and to offer simple ways of getting the most out of life every single day.
We want to spread a greater understanding of what learning actually is so that people are able to learn as well as be entertained and get the benefits from both. We want to ensure that through learning, a change in the capacity of each learner takes place so they are able to draw on and benefit from such newly learned ingredients.
Gandhi also said that to cause change we must ‘become the change we wish to see in the world’. Therefore, as an organisation, we ourselves are continually learning, growing and helping others to thrive too. This is the mission of Long Life Learning.
We are ambitious to see a world where learning is open to all, taken up by all and enjoyed by all. This is especially true for those in later life, those over 50 years of age, who are less likely to be involved in formal or casual education yet have, perhaps, the most to gain from being involved in continual learning.
As we are all living longer, and if we wish to continue to enjoy the benefits of doing so, we need to adopt cost-effective strategies to sustain our wellbeing. Even though learning in later life is advocated as just such a strategy, it is underused. We want to ensure everyone is engaged in their community, is empowered to make decisions for themselves and remain independent and happy for as long as possible.
Through our own research, we draw directly from the voices of the older learners in order to provide new and valuable insights to improve the quality of learning. We value learners, capture their perceptions and use these to help others. We want everyone to look afresh, as partners, at what learning can do for each one of us.
We are championing the provision of opportunities for learning. We believe it must be accessible by being available to everyone, be offered locally and also be free at the point of delivery. We advocate the use of the latest technology to do this, where appropriate, across all types of learning from art to science, from French to Tai Chi.
Let us all benefit
Research has shown that learning improves mental capacity and strengthens our thinking. If we don’t use that ability we will lose it. We can help to build up mental reserves to help fight back against dementia and, by matching learning with simple physical exercises, enable our bodies to get the most out of our minds.
We also promote the social benefits of learning to ensure everyone, especially those most vulnerable and most isolated, receive the benefits. Learning together, rather than turning to health services or social services, can help so much to foster a sense of wellbeing that can last throughout the whole life course.
We work together
We continually support and work with expert organisations advocating or providing learning and use our own research into the ‘quality’ of provision to drive up standards. We look at the best practices from across the world to see what can be brought to bear here in the United Kingdom with a determination to help to make us the best country in the world at providing quality learning in later life.
The future now
We do not know what will happen tomorrow in the world but we do know we cannot wait to find out. So we help individuals to help themselves now to support the members of their families or the friends they love. We want to invest in the use of quality learning to enrich our lives - starting from today not sometime in the future.
We believe in family learning too; helping members of different generations, who have the same burning desire to learn, to gain more by learning together. Isolation is not just about living separate lives but being involved in activities alone that could be done better together by benefitting all those taking part and society as a whole too.
Enjoyment in Learning
Learning is fun, it’s creative and it’s enjoyable. It’s at the heart of all we do. We continually look at new and novel ways to integrate learning into our everyday lives to make them as colourful and rich as they can be. We also continue to learn ourselves, even from our mistakes, and are passionate in helping others to do the same. Just like individuals, a learning society is a flourishing society, one that is at ease with itself and one that is confident it can meet the challenges of tomorrow.