The Cooke E-Learning Foundation - now trading as E2 - has secured the lease of the former housing office at Home Farm, Beaumont Leys for the next 5 years. Leicester City Council have relocated their housing services to Beaumont Leys Library resulting in a more efficient and easier to access service for Beaumont Leys residents. E2 intends to use the former housing office to deliver a range of educational and community related services for young people and adults. Over the next few months, E2 will roll-out a number of new services such as free computer sessions, after-school sessions and advice surgeries in partnership with De Montfort University (DMU) who share a vision to help local residents of Beaumont Leys in lifting themselves and their families out of poverty through education, advice and guidance. The Home Farm area in Beaumont Leys is one of the most disadvantaged parts of the city, which is why E2 and DMU are determined to make a difference and offer services that benefit local people. Local Ward Councillors have been crucial in helping to make this happen by ensuring that whoever moves into the former Home Farm Housing Office meets the needs of local young people and adults and brings a real benefit to the area.

The Cooke E-Learning Foundation (E2) has been located in Beaumont Leys for over 10 years and their work throughout Leicester and Leicestershire has helped 1000s of people get to grips with technology as well as delivering over 10,000 hours of workshops and community related projects, many of which are focused on Beaumont Leys. E2 are currently a delivery partner with Moneywise Plus, a £1.9 million EU/Lottery funded project which started at the end of 2016 and will continue to 2019. Moneywise Plus helps participants move closer to employment with services designed to improve financial capability, digital skills and volunteering.

De Montfort University’s Square Mile project has already made a big difference in Beaumont Leys with the development of Beaumont Park Sports Facility on Bennion Road, as well as the assistance they have provided to new and existing groups through the ‘Building a Better Beaumont Leys Project’ which has helped community groups with start-up funding and funding for community events.  

Martin Buchanan the CEO of E2 stated that ‘this centre is right where we want to be, bringing E2 back to its original roots and helping those who need it the most. The Cooke E-Learning Foundation now trading as E2 is the brainchild of Peter Smith who in 2005 was Deputy Principal of Babington College and saw that local residents in the area needed additional help outside of what the college could offer. We have a lot of work to do at Home Farm and we hope to gain the trust and support of local residents to make the area a better place to live and help people to empower themselves through education.’

Martin Buchanan has lived and worked in Beaumont Leys for over 18 years and has raised his children in the areas schools. His previous involvement with Home farm includes renovating a disused toilet block which had not been open for over 7 years. The toilet block is currently used as an office for a taxi company. He is currently a Trustee of Beaumont Lodge Neighbourhood Association CIO, which is one of the area's few remaining community organisations and was key in helping the organisation develop into a fully-fledged charity and improving their services.

Martin Buchanan went on to state that ‘Beaumont Leys needs more community minded people to help stand up for the rights of local residents and to develop services that are not currently available or may be shortly unavailable due to cuts. If there are people in Beaumont Leys that have ideas about setting up their own group please get in touch and we will do our best to get you on the right path’. Contact Martin on: 0116 2128491.

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