Today’s busy schedules, long commutes and shifting populations can prevent us from making connections with the people living around us. At The U, we offer short, lively learning sessions in useful topics like first aid, conflict resolution, and positivity, providing participants with the opportunity to gain practical skills whilst also getting to know diverse groups of people living in their neighbourhood.

“It’s the first time in about 15 years that I’ve learnt something and it’s been fun, I’ve had a laugh. That’s what I’ll take away from today!”

These free sessions are delivered in high street shops, cafés, pubs, leisure centres and other spaces where people congregate, with content that draws on exceptional resources from organisations like the British Red Cross and SLaM NHS Health Trust. Delivered by trained facilitators from the community, we challenge preconceptions about who is an ‘expert’ and who is a ‘learner’, and encourage mutual exchange by drawing upon everyone’s skills and experiences.

To date, The U has worked in 12 communities across the UK including Sutton, Nottingham, Barking & Dagenham, Aylesbury, Kingston and Barnet, working with around 900 learners a year.

Building on this model of community learning and engagement, we are also currently working on Share to Know (an Erasmus + programme focusing on youth peer to peer learning) and The Bench Project (a piece of research on social interaction in public spaces).

For more information about The U or related projects, see our impact report below or contact


The U impact report cover

The U: Connecting communities through learning


The U is a project that has a strong vision - to create and foster social connections in communities without demanding a ... Find out more

A nod is as good as a wink


The U is interested in people and in the ways they get along with each other. At the same time, this organisation seeks ... Find out more

Learning in Company: Designing The U


The U's founding belief is that engaging training in a range of useful skills such as first aid, saving energy and inter ... Find out more