Free leisure courses for Government research

Adults across Devon can learn a new skill for free in 2017 as part of Government research project looking at ways to improve mental health and wellbeing.

Devon County Council’s adult education service, Learn Devon, is offering free leisure courses in subjects including arts and crafts.

It is part of an England-wide project which aims to develop, deliver, share and evaluate educational approaches to support mental health.

The courses will be running at Learn Devon centres in Exmouth, Newton Abbot, Totnes, Tavistock and Bideford until July 2017, when the project ends.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Learn Devon, said:

“This is a great opportunity for adults to enjoy a free leisure course while also contributing to research into ways to improve people’s mental health. The fact that Learn Devon is taking part in the research demonstrates the service’s commitment to improving the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities. I encourage anyone who is interested in getting involved to contact Learn Devon and find out more.”

The courses are open to anyone aged 19 or over who has not taken part in adult learning in the past 12 months. They must also meet the research criteria for mental wellbeing, which will be gauged in an initial meeting with Learn Devon. A maximum of 300 people can take part in this project.

Participants’ mood and wellbeing will be measured before, during and after their course, and the results will be shared with the Department for Education. Once their course has finished, they can choose to attend follow-up workshops with Learn Devon to support their mental health.

Anyone interested in finding out more should call Learn Devon on 0345 155 1014, or email