Single Parent Action Network
Empowering – Connecting – Campaigning


Broadening your horizons


At SPAN, we firmly believe that learning is about broadening your horizons and trying out new things. We want people to have opportunities to access learning in different and creative ways. We also think that everybody have knowledge that they can share and which can benefit others. Therefore, we work in partnership with, among others, Bristol University, to offer different learning opportunities. You don’t need to have any prior academic experience or any qualifications – only an open mind and willingness to participate.

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Craft and creative


The Silai Centre has some of the best sewing and upholstery facilities in Bristol. We also have highly skilled professionals who teach a range of courses and skills, including upholstery, basic sewing, lingerie making, pattern cutting and garment construction. Unfortunately, we no longer have funding to subsidise the price of the majority of these courses, but we try to keep prices as low as possible for learners and also offer concessionary prices for people on low incomes. 

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English for Speakers of Other Languages


We are the largest inner-city ESOL provider catering specifically for parents who need childcare on-site or who want to be close to their children’s school or nursery provision. Demand for our ESOL course is always high and we have waiting lists. Therefore, you might not get a place straight away, but it is still important that you let us know that you are interested. 

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Family learning


Special time is always important for a strong relationship between parents and children. At SPAN we offer parents the opportunity to learn new skills and have fun together with their children in a friendly and inclusive environment. 

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Hair and beauty


The Silai Centre has it’s own in-house hair dressing salon and beauty treatment room. Subject to funding, we are occasionally offering entry level courses in hair dressing, and, beauty and skin care. 

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Learning for work

skills-for-workSPAN, works in partnership with City of Bristol College, the Learning Curve and the Learning Communities team, to offer qualifications which will support you to work towards your employment ambitions. Subject to funding and demand, we offer courses in early years, support work in schools, health & social care, business administration and catering among other things. 

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Life skills and ICT


We offer English and Maths courses for people who want to brush up their skills or gain a qualification. We also run regular ICT courses, ranging from complete beginners to using computers for job search.

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Delivered in various venues across the city, the Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (SFSC) programme is a weekly meeting for parents and carers who would like to develop their parenting skills and improve adult/child relationships at home and in the community. We cover strategies for successful parenting focusing on areas such as self esteem, life skills, anger management, supporting your children in school and using community resources.  

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Supporting people

jobsSPAN’s parenting support team offer placement opportunities for parents interested in supporting others. On a regular basis we run a level 2 IAG qualification to prepare volunteers. We also run mentoring courses, which allow learners to gain mentoring skills while also supporting women who have recently arrived in the UK to improve their English and to learn more about their new hometown. 

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Our September 2015 course brochure (PDF)

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