Annual Review 09 - 10
Message From Regional Chair
nother year has flown by and I find myself reflecting on the events and issues of the past twelve months. Once again it has been an eventful and sometimes difficult time. As I write this we are all involved in campaigning to save adult education and the huge part that we, the WEA, play in its delivery. It seems that we have spent recent years trying to convince government of the value of true Lifelong Learning and how vital it is if we are to have educated and active communities. We are lucky that we now have several high profile members of the new government who are our allies. My local MP has written to say that he supports what we are doing. Let us hope that as you read this we have had good news from the Comprehensive Spending Review and we are able to look forward to secure funding for the immediate future. Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to participate in petitioning. Although we as a Region have had one or our most successful periods since reorganisation we have still found it necessary to restructure our staffing in order to meet strict budgetary requirements. Unfortunately this has meant the loss of some valued and respected members of staff. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for all their committed and hard work and to wish them well in the future. In order to facilitate this restructure every member of the field staff went through an exacting interview process in which I took part. It was not an easy time. However, it did enable me to hear about the amazing variety and breadth of work that goes on across our Region. We are running courses in subjects as varied as Citizenship, Sewing with Asian Women, Tactile Arts, Engaging Young Men, Trade Union Studies, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and many, many more. We are delivering them to learners who may have physical and mental disabilities, who live in
disadvantaged areas (not only those but the rural and urban communities too), are unemployed or from different ethnic backgrounds. We work with schools and community centres, the NHS, a variety of work places and have many partnership organisations that ask us to put on courses for them. We have helped learners who are blind or partially sighted, are in the early stages of dementia, have arthritis or mental health problems. We are very proud of the programme we have to offer and I thank, wholeheartedly, all of you – staff and voluntary workers, for making this work possible. I would like to say a big thank you too, to all those people who helped in the restructuring process but especially to Jenny Major our Regional Education Manager who retired in August. Jenny has been a very hard working and immensely valued member of our team and we were sad to see her go. Though she has retired from the WEA she is not putting her feet up just yet. She is now in Ethiopia working for VSO (Voluntary Services Overseas) and will be there for the next two years. We wish her well in this amazing adventure and are looking forward to her newsletters. I cannot conclude without paying tribute to all of you, staff and volunteers for everything that you have done over the past twelve months. None of this is possible without you. I must also say how very pleased we are that our Regional Director, Ann Walker, is now returned to us and is enjoying much better health. They say you don’t miss something until it’s not there; well, we really missed Ann and are very glad to have her back! Thank you everyone, Lindy Gresswell Regional Chair.
he best memories of the 2009-10 academic year are of amazing individual and group achievements coming from many interesting and exciting courses and educational activities. This Annual Review has examples showing a small number of these activities to illustrate the WEA’s impact in communities across the Region.
Annual Review 09 - 10
Ironically, in a year of financial success to match our educational achievements, it became apparent that funding cuts were on their way and that much of our short-term project funding would not be renewed, despite the excellent outcomes that we could show. Along with most other publicly funded services, our core funding was also at risk. We are always mindful of the WEA’s charitable mission and focused our planning on maintaining as many courses as possible in line with the Association’s priorities. As our overhead costs were low already, our only option was to restructure our staffing to reduce costs. This was a painful period for core staff although we tried to minimise the effect on learners, volunteers and partner organisations. I am grateful for the professionalism that colleagues showed during this restructure and immensely sad that some colleagues’ were made redundant as a result of the restructure. We are fortunate that people in the WEA pull together when faced with challenges so a good deal of energy and creativity was – and remains - evident in the courses and projects. We celebrated a Festival of Learning, had Parliamentary visits and ran a number of successful educational projects. As ever, our stalwart volunteers continued to work hard in branches across the Region. The WEA could not exist without our dedicated volunteers and tutors and I thank them for all their commitment, time and effort. Special thanks are owed to the Region’s dedicated voluntary Officers, Lindy Gresswell (Chair), Kenneth Wilson (Treasurer), Elisabeth Dunnett, Emma Snell and Paul Spawforth (Vice Chairs) and Hugh Humphrey (Association Committee Representative) and Regional Committee members who give their time and expertise freely to the WEA. The cost-saving actions taken last year continue into this year but we are also taking positive steps to protect adult education. We have continued to build on the campaigning activities that have grown in recent years. Learners, volunteers, staff and partner organisations are working together to raise the profile of adult learning with policy makers and potential funders. Whatever the external circumstances and challenges, the WEA in the Region remains vibrant and committed to our core principles. We know that adult education changes lives for the better and enhances communities. The examples highlighted in this Annual Review are just a small sample of what we do. I hope that you will continue to support adult education and tell other people about how valuable it is. Ann Walker Regional Director
Annual Review 09 - 10
Statistics There are many stories behind the statistics, but numbers show the scale of the WEAâ€™s activities in the Yorkshire and Humber Region in 2009-10 and the range of people who join in WEA courses. There were 21,914 enrolments on 1,786 completed courses in the Region in 2009-10. The figures below show the diversity of the learners. Female 75.9% Male 24.1% Declared physical disability
Declared Learning Disability
Declared Ethnic Minority
Fee Remitted (for economic reasons)
Qualifications Below Level 2 on Entry
Reaching a wide range of people is only part of the picture and the WEA monitors the overall progress and outcomes of each of the above groups to assess whether everyone is benefiting similarly from the courses and that no particular groups are being less well served than others. The overall retention rate was 91.2% and the achievement rate was 98.2%
Data Sources â€“ WEA Corporate Services Summary LMR and Enrolment Profile Statistics 091110
Annual Review 09 - 10
ollowing the Government White Paper ‘Valuing People Now’, learning disability service providers were forced to review their employment policies to include in the interview process representatives of those receiving their services.
Bradford New Innovations At the conclusion of the first 40-week course, qualified students helped set up a database showing their strengths and needs. For example ‘confident speaker’, ‘some reading skills’ (this for reading questions at interview).
Initially, little or no training was provided to adults with learning disabiities who had been asked to sit on interview panels and consequently results were mixed. No standardised system was in place, questions were often complex and marking score sheets relied on the learning disabled interviewer being able to read or write. In addition, the interviewers with learning disabilities had no knowledge of the standards each service provider expected from its staff nor the laws governing employment, for example, discrimination and equality. Making a start, involving people Although the original idea was initiated by the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) and Bradford District Care Trust, it was decided early on to make this course open to any adult with a learning disability who received services from any provider in the district. Consequently, accessible application forms in ‘easy read’ format were sent out to all organisations involved with learning disabilities. The first group of students to apply came from day services, supported employment, private, charitable and care trust housing providers, supported housing services and supported volunteering organisations.
By the middle of the second 40-week course a number of anomalies were coming to light from those who had previously qualified. Some qualified students were invited back to talk to new learners and expressed disenchantment with the interviewing process. To tackle these, funding was sought to make a DVD that would highlight flaws in the process from the perspective of an interviewer with learning disabilities. The students set about writing and producing a DVD to standardise the process. This DVD has since been shown at Residential, Day Service and Respite Service Managers Meetings. The DVD was also designed to be used as a teaching aid for new course participants in the future.
Engaging the Learners Recognising that it is no easy task for anyone to question and assess a job candidate, the process was broken down into simple components.
Outcomes There are now twenty qualified interview panel members with learning disabilities in the Bradford and Keighley District who are on the database. A further ten will qualify in June 2010. Most leaning disability care providers now work with people who use their services, this is in line with the Governments ‘Valuing People Now’ document. In May 2010, Bradford District Care Trust co-ordinated a learning disability panel to interview for the high profile post of Consultant Psychiatrist in Learning Disabilities, this had a successful outcome. Interviewers are now paid at the standard rate of £5.90/hour.
l Recognising and understanding what it means to have a disability l Understanding discrimination relating to race, gender and disability l The principles of care, incorporating ‘Good Staff’, ‘Bad Staff’
Conclusions This training service empowers adults with learning disabilities to participate at all levels in the recruitment and selection of staff who want to work in their services.
l Interviewing and marking candidates.
To facilitate the students in the comprehension of each component, a specialist qualified tutor with a background in learning disability and social care was commissioned to deliver this training. Resources were made accessible by use of symbols, ‘easy read’ language and inductive teaching methods reflecting and utilising student prior knowledge and experiences. Involving Others Individuals employed by Bradford District Care Trust and Social Services were invited to classes to discuss their roles as staff trainers, complaints officers and human resource personnel. This had the added advantage of raising the profile of the group and allowing students to roleplay mock interviews with actual staff members. A number of the students went on to participate in staff training after an invitation from Andrew Walters, the Learning Disability Induction Award Coordinator, to become part of their scheme.
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This is a win/win process, empowering those with disabilities and their service providers gaining increasing confidence in the learning disability interview panel’s decisions.
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Annual Review 09 - 10
across the Region
Tackling Race Inequality Project
n December our region received money from a national WEA Tackling Race Inequality Project, funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government. The aim was to engage Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities to reduce race inequalities and increase civic participation. We were tasked with delivering two short ‘learner voice activities’, and a regional event. We exceeded this by securing additional funding and offering 3 ten hour courses, 2 regional events, 1 visit to the Houses of Parliament and 1 visit to London to view a demonstration. We worked with a new partner who exceeded all expectations – the Huddersfield Pakistani Community Alliance is a dynamic and inspirational team of development workers in Thornton Lodge, one of the most deprived areas in the country. With the young people, we devised a short course, Using Digital Media to Campaign for Change. Using digital cameras they photographed their local area, and used the internet to research statistics to create a Powerpoint presentation reflecting their views – good and bad - of their neighbourhood.
west yorkshire lees
Calderdale & Kirk
They presented findings at Huddersfield Town Hall to their local Councillor and invited audience. The Assistant Head teacher invited them to deliver the presentation at school, and nominated them for a school’s public speaking competition. The campaign featured in the local press. Later, the group went to the Houses of Parliament to improve their understanding of democracy. We visited the Science Museum to see the inspirational exhibition 1001 Inventions of the Muslim World. Rose Farrar
I feel I ‘gained more confidence and learnt a bit about how the government is run’
I feel ‘confident, mature and spe cial… and learnt new skills like powerp oint’
It has ‘given me pride in my area’
It was a ‘a chance to experience new things’
Rex Russell awarded Lifetime Achievement Award by the British Association for Local History Rex Russell, retired WEA Tutor Organiser, has been given a Personal Achievement Award by the British Association for Local History. Rex is one of the best-known and most knowledgeable and influential people in the local history of Lincolnshire. Born in the East End of London, he worked as a commercial artist and after the war read History and Education as a mature student at the University of Durham. His work for the University of Hull ExtraMural Department and for the WEA enthused hundreds of students over the years, often resulting in the
publication of high quality village histories, and the establishment of long-standing active local societies. Rex’s own publications ran to over eighty books and articles, produced co-operatively whenever possible, and aimed at making history accessible to the maximum number of readers. His special interest is parliamentary enclosure, but he also researched and wrote on the local history of Methodism, education, labourers’ movements, and old and new culture in the countryside. He contributed to a number of volumes on the history
of his home town Barton-UponHumber, is an expert on buildings, and excavated at least one deserted medieval settlement. Long after most people retired Rex continued to contribute, still lecturing when he was ninety. As one of his referees put it Rex ‘radiated the conviction that understanding local history was of the greatest importance for the survival and humanity of communities today’.
Annual Review 09 - 10
in; to listen to each others’ aspirations and achievements, to hear about hopes and disappointments, and to explore creative ideas through the medium of writing.
This project started with an idea and creative hunch… Becky Cherriman is the creative writing tutor on two WEA courses in Leeds; one is a community course held at Osmondthorpe Resource Centre and is for adults with physical disabilities and the other is a branch course run in Headingley, both of which run for the whole of the academic year. For some time Becky had been aware that learners from both classes, independently, had expressed a desire to ‘change gear’ – to push their boundaries; to disturb their comfortable places and to develop their thinking and writing skills. This gave Becky and I the germ of an idea – Why not a collaborative venture between the two groups? After meetings with the learners in both creative writing classes, with the staff at Osmondthorpe and with the Leeds branch it became clear that the enthusiasm for this idea was immense and the LET ME SPEAK! project was born. As a starting point both groups visited the Thackray Museum in Leeds. This was then followed up with a joint working session, hosted by Osmondthorpe Resource Centre, where both groups worked creatively alongside each other. The culmination of their journey together was a public performance of their written pieces in Leeds Civic Hall and the production of a joint Anthology containing their most accomplished work. So it was that these two very different WEA Creative writing groups, from opposite sides of the city, worked collaboratively to challenge their individual and group assumptions and perceptions of the world they live
The learners expressed that it was better than they had hoped for; increased confidence and self esteem, improved writing skills; raised awareness – both personal and social and development of purpose and aspirations being just some of the outcomes of the project. Brenda Lancaster, a local Councillor and supporter of Osmondthorpe Resource Centre, offered us the Banqueting Suite at the Civic Hall at no charge, The Thackray Museum offered us free entry to the museum and I applied successfully to the Leeds City Council for a small Wellbeing grant. Finally it must be said that this project could never have been achieved without the considerable creative ability and dedication of the tutor, Becky Cherriman, and the support and organisational expertise of the Osmondthorpe Resource Centre staff with whom the WEA has had a long and fruitful relationship. Biddy Coghill Leeds Organiser
Annual Review 09 - 10
enguins, a royal four-poster bed and a 2-metre high naked, male statue were just some of the surprises awaiting ESOL learners when they visited Harewood House, Leeds in May. (ESOL means English for speakers of other languages).
Beforehand, learners found out all about Harewood and its history and practised their language skills in the process; these included reading texts, describing people in paintings, looking at maps and floor plans and asking questions to get information. A study of Lord Harewood’s The group of more than 30 Asian women family tree triggered some interesting were learners from three ESOL classes written work about learners own family members, which was compiled into a at Parkinson Lane School, Halifax, and class booklet. All was underpinned by the visit was organised to help them ILT (Information Learning Technology) develop their language and citizenship as the school provides laptops and skills in a real setting, outside the internet access. Particular use was made classroom. It also gave a chance to socialise for the three classes, who meet by learners of the Harewood House at the same venue but at different times. website. On the day of the visit learners Harewood House regularly welcomes travelled by coach and parties of ESOL learners and its on arrival were taken Learning and Access Team developed on a tour of the a special resource pack for use by ESOL tutors and their students. So their house, including ‘below stairs,’ WEA tutor planned a scheme of work by Harewood for her ten-week course around the trip guides who and used the pack, which consisted of background information for tutor as well tailor-made as materials for students to use before, during and after their visit. These were primarily aimed at Entry level learners, were mostly differentiated by outcome and were mapped to the ESOL core curriculum.
their talks and adapted their language to suit the ESOL group. Learners felt confident enough to ask questions while on the tour. The dull, damp weather did not deter the women from enjoying their picnic in the grounds. Before leaving there was just time for a walk around the bird garden and for the obligatory visit to the gift shop! Afterwards, learners further developed their language skills with oral and written evaluations of the visit. Their feedback was sent to the Harewood team along with a detailed evaluation of the resource pack done by their tutor.
ESOL trip to
After a successful Learning Revolution event called Art does Matter - Make a Statement! where learners created a mini mosaic in a day we were invited to exhibit at Bridge Arts in Castleford. These are the students from the Festival of Learning Event at the opening event of an exhibition of the work they produced.
Archaeological Dig in Rothwell In September 2009 learners from the Rothwell, Moor End and West Ardsley’ Fulfilling Lives’ Day Centres gathered to take part in an archaeological dig on land in the Rothwell Day Centre. During the 3 day pilot course, the group marked out, dug, gathered and identified items and then returned the turf to its original state Firstly, the learners examined some examples of modern everyday waste and using their own knowledge and experience they were able to use these clues to discuss what they found out about what our society might have been like. As well as archaeology, the work throughout the 3 days promoted cooperation, and very importantly, lots of fun. The course also included a guided tour around Rothwell Parish Church to explore and examine some of their historical artifacts. Support workers were delighted by the involvement and commitment of the learners and said that the pilot had provided the group with a huge challenge to which they had risen brilliantly.
Certificates were presented by the Deputy Mayor along with the Deputy Mayoress (Councillor Tony Wallis & Mrs Doreen Wallis) 17 out of the 19 learners who attended the class were able to be there on the day.
The archaeology pilot , was devised and organised by a partnership between Biddy Coghill and Christine Sharman of the Workers’ Educational Association and the West Yorkshire Archaeological Advisory Service with excellent support from volunteers from South Leeds Archaeology, the centres’ staff and Leeds City Council. Inspired by it’s success the partnership are already discussing what they can do next to develop the pilot.
Annual Review 09 - 10
across the Region
Barnsley The Dearne Valley Frieze has been created by the WEA community art class held at Goldthorpe Library. Organiser Sheila Smith was approached by Paul Selman from
The Dearne Valley Frieze
the Department of Landscape at Sheffield University to produce a piece of work based on the history of the Dearne Valley. The frieze shows change in the area from the earliest human settlement to the present day and on into alternative tomorrows - ‘utopia’ and ‘dystopia’. The partners involved in the production of the frieze were the University of Sheffield and the Environment Agency (Dearne Valley Green Heart Partnership). Clare Morgan, University of Oxford, also contributed by holding three writing tutorials for the creative writers in the group and their work has been used throughout the frieze. The launch of the exhibition was held at Goldthorpe Library on Tuesday 6th July 2010 and received press coverage by the Barnsley Chronicle and Dearne Valley Weekender. This was well attended by partner organisations, learners, family and friends. Paul Selman said that the project had, “surpassed his expectations”.
It was another frenetic year on the campaign front with lots of activities across the region. The WEA continued to play a leading role. In Sheffield the WEA Branch helped form the local Campaign Alliance for Lifelong Learning (CALL) and in April 2010 helped organise and run a large public meeting. The event was chaired by the Branch Chair, Liz Naylor, and speakers included Alan Tuckett (Director of NIACE), Jol Miskin (WEA) and Kath Swinney (Sheffield Adult Education Team). The meeting also heard contributions from representatives of different political parties. Over 60 people attended. Picture: Liz, Alan Tuckett and Kath Swinney (seated) and Jol Miskin
Home Farm Trust Course Grants awarded by the Sheffield Town Trust and the Church Burgesses Trust enabled the Sheffield WEA, in collaboration with the Home Farm Trust (HFT), to develop and deliver a special Arts and Crafts course at the HFT Dore Residential Centre from June to August 2010. The group consisted of 7 adults living at the residential centre in supported
accommodation. They have various delayed development issues including autism. They were an incredibly enthusiastic group and very eager to try new things. They particularly enjoyed the process of creating, of interacting and socialising in a group setting, and of exploring different media. Activities undertaken during the 30 hour course, which ended on the 10th August 2010, included: n painting material flags n aboriginal finger painting n clay houses
Picture: (L-R) Sarah Finn, Jo Roach, Keltie Revitt, Colette Cameron (tutor, standing) and Kim Greenwood get to work on making papier mache bowls. The other members of the group: Katrina Oelrichs, Michael Colgan and Susie Hughes
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papier mache bowls (made then decorated) marbling and then creating paper butterflies from the marbled paper tissue paper stained-glass effect crayoned paper birds which decorate a garden tree clay masks
This was a very positive and beneficial activity. A visit to the group in May confirmed that a supportive environment, a dedicated and skilled tutor, adequate resources and materials and, due to the Trust funding support, an ability to work with a small group, made the whole thing a very positive success. Furthermore the word has spread and more HFT users have expressed an interest in the course. It is hoped that we will be able to meet this need in the year ahead.
Annual Review 09 - 10 Active citizenship educational work was boosted by Sheffield City Council contracting the WEA to write and deliver a new course across its newly formed Community Assembly structures. A 15 hour course was developed and then run in 4 separate locations in the City before the end of July 2010. Key features of the course include exploring the meaning of politics and democracy; focusing on the issues that most concern participants and relating them to core political ideas; engaging in bringing about change. Further courses will be run in 2010/11
The How To Campaign
Internet based resource pack was created using LfCI (Learning for Community Involvement) funding. The pack which shows people how to campaign using on line resources, how to contact an MP and how to report community based issues, has been delivered to groups of tutors around the region who have then cascaded the information to their learners. Excellent feedback has been received about this successful tool to campaigning and the resource is now available on the WEAâ€™s national website.
OUR CITY, OUR LIVES
Rotherham A Skills for Life presentation in Maltby for learners who are all members of MENCAP, all passed City and Guilds qualifications in literacy and or numeracy, for some it was the first qualification they have ever achieved. Very emotional!
STUDY SKILLS into Higher University The University of Sheffield and WEA worked together on a creative partnership which saw 12 WEA tutors and students signing up to a free University 10 Credit Level 1/
OCN Level 4 Study Skills into HE course, taught by Tim Herrick from the University. The course, run over 4 days in July 2010, took place at the University. Three WEA tutors - Gale Hollis, Julie Martin and Dawn Griffith participated and they in turn encouraged their students (variously studying on WEA accredited programmes: Helping in Schools and Unison Return to Learn) to attend and then supported them through the course. Of the 12 starters 8 8 were able to complete and passed with flying colours. The course was free and the tutors were paid an attendance fee. The WEA wishes to record its thanks to the University for this opportunity. The model worked well and itâ€™s hoped it might be repeated in 2010/11. Jol Miskin
Annual Review 09 - 10
An ‘Inspirational’ Projects Day at Sheffield Learning Centre 35 people attended the first-ever Regional WEA Projects Day at Sheffield Learning Centre on the 1st July 2010. Participants - including organisers, administrators, managers and volunteers - met to discuss how to develop and manage educational projects. The aim of the day was to build an understanding of what makes for a successful project and to provide participants with a sense of possibilities when it comes to apply for funding and developing new ideas.
‘A fantastic event which has been inspirational’
Projects Day Participant
Workshops on the day included:
The Digital Media Project in South Yorkshire continues to strengthen partnerships with other community organisations, develeloping outreach to some of the most socially excluded neighbourhoods in Europe. We have also been commissioned to produce a DVD for NHS Sheffield, this funding allowing us to purchase equipment and enhance resources at Sheffield Learning Centre.
A selection of DVD material is available on the WEA website – www.wea.org.uk/yh
On the 8th December a special celebration was held at the Remploy factory on Brightside Lane, Sheffield, in recognition of the achievements made by the students studying basic skills with tutor, Barbara Firth. The students were joined by Jol Miskin and Sharon Watson, both of whom
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Budgets for beginners Researching funding How to promote and market your project Turning ideas into reality Evaluation tools and approaches
Many participants noted what an inspiring event the Projects Day had been and said the workshops and testimonies were very informative. Projects Day organiser, Matt Livingstone, said: “Our first ever Projects Day in the Yorkshire and Humber region has been a tremendous success and a real team effort. Hopefully, everyone in the Region will now feel inspired to get involved in developing new educational projects.”
have assisted with the organisation of the course, and also a management representative, the GMB Union Convenor and the key Union Learning Representative, students were formally presented with their certificates after brief
speeches celebrating the achievements by Jol and a Remploy Manager. The event was followed by a sumptuous lunch laid on by Remploy. There was so much it’s quite probable that the group is still eating now! Jol Miskin/Sharon Watson
WEA/GMB/Remploy Success Story
Annual Review 09 - 10
International Women’s Day Event at Sheffield Learning Centre and an Atheist having an open discussion about women’s At a meeting with WEA Tutor Helen Jackson we talked emancipation and the role faith plays in women’s lives; about doing something for International Women’s Day and Making our Voices Heard across the World – speakers I was keen to raise the profile of the Sheffield Learning from Yemen, South Africa and Centre. The Learning Kenya talking about their activism for Community in ipated partic who teers volun “All staff, tutors and it; it was a and campaigning before coming to Involvement Project today’s event put their heart and soul into this country and how they continue (LfCI) granted us most enjoyable day.” to be engaged in campaigns funds and within 2 here; and How to Campaign using weeks of sending out d Woul one. “Nice to be part of an event such as this the Internet - practical activities publicity the event was for one this to r simila s event ar regul be nicer to have e.g. how to contact your local oversubscribed!! A g.” raisin ness networking and aware MP, how to report something in great big THANK YOU your neighbourhood and viewing must go to the following ment move s gette “Watching the video on Suffra freedom of information requests. WEA colleagues, this use has inspired me to VOTE! I will definitely without whose support learn to need girls ger Youn s. video with my group the event would not about the Suffragettes.” have happened: Gill Dean, Sue Taylor, Trish ent “I have learned a lot about women from differ Land, Sheila Smith, Gill order and the struggles that all women face in res cultu Lawrence, Nicky Reed, the of some by ed shock was I men. to to be equal Laura Lewis, Chris ed.” obstacles women have to face to be notic Makison and last but not least David Pittaway. Our partners’ enthusiasm was very much appreciated; they were Northern College, Sheffield Hallam University and South Yorkshire Women’s Development Trust.
speakers “Very powerful presentation with passionate women sharing their own experiences.” “I will be talking to and trying to teach my granddaughters to be more active.”
Sixty four women attended this event which opened with a quiz on Easy Click about women’s suffrage and interaction with political life across the world. Then into four interactive workshops (which were repeated in the afternoon); Women and Campaigning – looking at campaigns past and present including the suffragette movement; Women and Faith - a panel of women from Christian, Muslim, Buddhist faiths
We arranged a follow on event:
he group of 27 women, young and older women, women of different religions, cultures and social backgrounds attended this event. A walk facilitated by URBIS to places and sites in Manchester city centre with some connection to women’s suffrage. We learnt of events that started in Manchester, people involved, the impact upon society at large and then government of the times. The Pankhurst Centre – we viewed a video about the Suffragette movement and learnt about the lives of Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters and their fight for votes for women in the restored home they shared in Nelson Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester. The home had a wide range of photographs, posters, articles, artefacts and quotes.
What next? The women are keen for further events focussing on the individual workshops of the International Women’s Day event, for us to seek ways of opening some dialogue about women’s issues and incorporating even more practical ways to take things forward and get women involved. The women particularly enjoyed being with women from different age groups, cultural and social backgrounds. Shirley Allen-Jackson
Annual Review 09 - 10
across the Region Hull & East Riding
his year the WEA has offered a total of 100 courses throughout the East Riding covering all 3 strands of our work in a wide variety of topics ranging from the more traditional cultural studies subjects such as archaeology, local history, Egyptology and literature, to personal development, health and well-being, arts and crafts, computers, volunteering and working in schools. We have reached learners of all ages and with different needs and interests (older people, young parents, volunteers…) in many different settings: village halls, a pub, schools, children’s centres, community organisations. Our existing collaborative partnerships have strengthened and new ones been forged, such as with Children and Family Action Group and ERVAS. The WEA is represented on local partnerships and networks such as the Hornsea Parenting Forum, the Holderness Health and Well-being group and the Bridlington Learning and Skills Forum as well as on East Riding wide strategic partnerships such as the East Riding Cultural Partnership and the East Riding Local Accountable Body For Informal Learning.
Sutton Hoo Day School in Beverley The Beverley Branch organised this three hour Sutton Hoo day school which was held on 7 November 2009. It was timed to take place in the seventieth anniversary year of the original discovery. Twenty one people attended, to hear Eric Houlder, an Excavation Supervisor in the British Museum team which completed the original excavation, describe the momentous events at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk. Eric joined the dig whilst the original participants were still alive, and his memories of seminal figures like Basil Brown and Charles Phillips were an important feature of the afternoon. The ship, the treasures and both previous and subsequent work on the site were illustrated with PowerPoint and slides, whilst participants heard a recorded interview with Eric taken from Radio Deben. The PowerPoint presentations were particularly appreciated, assembled from original colour slides which Eric (Archaeology Editor for the Royal Photographic Society A&H Group) had skilfully restored to their original colour. A discussion on later discoveries at Sutton Hoo, at Prittlewell in Essex, and very recently in Staffordshire completed the day school.
Day Trip to Nostel Priory A group of learners from the Beverley branch course, ‘The English Country House in the 18th Century Whigs,Tories and the Grand Tour’, on a visit to Nostell Priory with their tutor Margaret Imrie.
Left: Diane Norton, Bridlington Surestart Children’s Centre worker Right: Karen Walkington being presented with an Adult Learners’ Week Certificate of Achievement Karen is a young mum who has been attending the Children’s Centre in Bridlington. She has taken part in several courses offered by the WEA and other adult education providers. She started with courses that related directly to her role as a mother and progressed on to courses that allowed her to gain new skills that she can use for her own benefit and that of her family. Karen says: ‘While attending the Children’s Centre in Bridlington with my daughter Carrie Ann, I was asked if I wanted to do some courses. I had been feeling depressed and useless and didn’t think I would manage because of my physical disability and feeling selfconscious and not confident. I have done several courses incl. Baby Signing, Brain Gym, Child First Aid, Story Sacks, Christmas Crafts, Papercraft, Crafts for Kids, Sewing and others. In all of these courses I have learnt new skills which I have been able to use with my family and have gained more confidence. I feel more relaxed, happier and less stressed. She has made friends and had fun doing activities and is happy to spend time away from me. Her development is increasing and I now look forward to doing more courses and learning new skills.’ Karen has been an inspiration to tutors, staff and other parents as she has become a cheerful and independent person and as she has adapted her life around her disability and no longer lets it get in the way.
Annual Review 09 - 10
Introduction to Active Citizenship in Bridlington A two-day Introduction to Active Citizenship was offered at the Key Centre in Bridlington to a group of young people in their late teens and early twenties. The course encouraged lively debate around the ideas of active citizenship, rights and responsibilities, taking part and bringing about change. Day 1 included an exercise looking at what they would like to change. The subject of bullying came up and the group invented BABA (Bridlington Anti-Bullying Alliance) and became very engaged in discussing ways in which they would go about setting up such a group and how they might get the message across. On Day 2, the group explored further what it means to be a citizen or subject, rights and responsibilities, what changes in the world have ever been brought about by citizens grouping together, why migrants/immigrants work so hard for so little, understanding the words ‘dogmatic’ as opposed to ‘pragmatic’. This was a highly positive couple of days where young people, who had admitted to usually ‘being bored out of their skulls’, were able to engage in discussions about abstract ideas and concepts, to ponder on modes of thinking that were totally unfamiliar to them including the nature of society, class, where things like ‘rights’ came from and whether or not anything might be changed – for them or the world.
A good time was had at the Rainbow Children’s Centre 7th Annual Presentation Evening. Learners from WEA courses and other educational providers received their certificates from the Rt Honourable Alan Johnson MP. The Rt Honourable Alan Johnson MP expressed how respected and established the WEA was within the Hull area and valued the work we do within the community. Pictured: Rt Honourable Alan Johnson MP, Learner Sarah Cooney and Organiser Lauren Farmer.
North & North Ea Lincolnshire
arton & District branch has seen a new lease of life thanks to Ursula Vickerton and with the support of the WEA members and the community hopefully will go from strength to strength in the coming years. Grimsby (Linda Salkeld), Immingham (Eileen McCready), Keelby (Emma Snell) Waltham (Sylvia Ayers) Branches remain well supported providing good interesting well attended courses and Day Schools thanks to the continuing support of branch secretaries and their determination to bring good quality education to the North East District. Community learning is very strong in North East Lincolnshire. The WEA has established strong partnerships with the Children’s Centres, for the parents of young children, in Cleethorpes, Grimsby and Immingham and have a long established partnership with Foresight Centre that is dedicated to provide education to those with learning difficulties, disability issues, mental health and sensory impairment.
n compiling this report on the activities of the Grimsby Branch, it brings back to all Committee Members just how much was achieved by us and all our other volunteers in 2009/10. We produced an ambitious Cultural Programme in tune with the requests of our members and were not disappointed with their support. Some of the subjects covered were ‘Georgian Lincolnshire’, ‘Mysterious Meanings in Art’, ‘Jewish Festivals’ and ‘Aspects of Islam’. We put on 12 weekday courses attended by 149 learners. Our Saturday Half Day Schools were particularly attractive as usual with 219 attendees over 5 events including ‘Renaissance Gardens and Beyond’, ‘Solomon’s Treasures’ (Solomon Guggenheim’s Art Collection in New York) and ‘Where there’s Muck there’s Brass’ (a social history of Brass Bands). The highlight of this series of Saturday Lectures was a talk on ‘The Knights Templar in Lincolnshire’, an event which attracted a capacity audience of 86. We had to turn away 15 at the door because of room size/fire certificate restrictions and had also closed the register 3 weeks previously to phone bookings denying a further 35+ a seat. Learning from this we now ask for prior booking for these events up to midday on the day to avoid any disappointment. We have already planned to include another take on ‘The Properties of the Knight’s Templar in Lincolnshire’ for 2010/11. So many of our Saturday visitors remark what better way is there to spend a winter’s afternoon than with a good lecture, good company and the high tea that goes with it all!
Annual Review 09 - 10
across the Region
Success for Scarborough at Aim Higher Awards
EA learners and staff from Scarborough were well represented at the York and North Yorkshire Aim Higher Awards in June 2010. The event took place at The Univsersity of York St John and awards were presented by Professor Stuart Billingham, Pro Vice Chancellor, and Richard McCann, best selling author. It was a very grand evening, with buffet, live music, inspirational speeches and of course the eagerly anticipated award announcements. ‘Primary School Learner of the Year’ was won jointly by Tiegan Webster and Owen Heydon. These two Year 6 pupils had taken an active part in the WEA Leaning Journeys course at Friarage Primary School in Scarborough and had made significant progress during and after the course.
The University of Hull, VT Enterprises (IAG) and Ryedale Voluntary Action. Ken Leach my collegue collected the award and the expensive bottle of red! Finally Aim Higher Champion of the Year was unfortunately not awarded to WEA Organiser Diane Quinney but I was runner up in this category and collected my certificate but no bottle of wine.
‘Adult Learner of the Year’ was shared by Carina Pelucci and Jane Linguard, both from Scarborough. In the space of just over a year Carina and Jane had participated in Helping in Schools and Helping with Special Needs courses, had passed Level 1 & 2 Adult Literacy and Numeracy, had worked on the WEA Aim Higher Community Research project and had secured places at the University of Hull, Carina on a Foundation Degree course and Jane studying on a BA Primary Teaching course.
It was a fabulous evening, Aim Higher’s version of the Oscars, and it certainly made everyone feel special. It’s so positive when effort and achievement are recognised and celebrated, especially with family and friends are present to share in the success.
‘Aim Higher Project of the Year’ was awarded to the Scarborough “Moving On Up Project”. The WEA plays an major role in this project along with partner organisations
Aim Higher is a national programme which aims to widen participation in higher education by raising awareness, aspirations and attainment of young people and adults from groups currently under represented in universities and colleges.
Pictures courtesy of Joe Dodsworth Photography
Pictured here are Trish Hollies, Organiser Wakefield and Diane Quinney, Organiser Scarborough collecting awards at The Open University Community Partnerships Event. Awards were presented by Shaun Long and Jane Pinner from the Open University in recognition of commitment to working in partnership, particularly in the development of the OU Openings programme and progression routes for WEA learners.
Annual Review 09 - 10
he past academic year has been very eventful and rewarding. I have worked with partners to identify areas of need and to open up opportunities to groups of learners previously under-represented within the Selby, Hambleton and Richmondshire areas – particularly people living in rural, isolated areas and parents living in areas of social and economic hardship. As a result of this, a number of courses targeted at parents as part of our schools and parenting curriculum area were successfully run. These included four ‘Helping in Schools’ courses - in Northallerton, Thirsk, Easingwold and Husthwaite, two ‘Keeping Up with the Children’ courses – in Northallerton and Thirsk and ‘Busy Babies’, ‘Kids! Who Said they were Easy?’ and ‘Building Brighter Kids with Healthy Eating’ courses at Selby North and South Childrens Centres. The uptake of places on all of these courses has been impressive and retention rates have been excellent, with very positive feedback from both learners and Head Teachers. Many learners completing the Helping in Schools courses have gone on to secure paid employment within local schools and others have progressed onto level 3 courses with other providers. In order to help meet our Skills for Life targets, I decided to target the learners who had attended, or were attending, the Helping in Schools courses, to offer them the chance to take the National Tests in Literacy
The Incredible Edible Eastfield project began in 2009, inspired by Incredible Edible Todmorden in West Yorkshire where residents and organisations in the area planted vegetables, fruits and herbs in locations around the town. The produce was then available for anyone in the community to use. It encouraged residents to eat organic fruit and vegetables and to develop a culture of “growing your own”. The Eastfield Incredible Edible project is being co-ordinated by Eastfield Neighbourhood Partnership in partnership with Workers’ Educational Association (WEA), Eastfield Parish Council, Eastfield Residents Association, Yorkshire Coast Homes and Scarborough Borough Council.
and Numeracy. This initiative is ongoing, but a group of learners in Thirsk recently successfully completed a literacy course which has led to 8 learners completing national tests at level 2 and two at level 1. The partnerships with Selby Resource Centre and North Yorkshire Supported Employment Service continue to go from strength to strength and there are currently two courses running including a ‘Drawing and Painting’ course which focuses upon the needs of people living with mental health difficulties and a ‘Make Your Experience Count course’, which is aimed at people with learning difficulties both of which are proving very popular. As a follow-on to these, we will be offering a short module which focuses upon the development of self-advocacy skills, which will be funded through LfCI (Learning for Community Involvement) Round 3 money. Branches within the area, including those based in Great Ayton, Thirsk, Middleton Tyas, Northallerton and Easingwold have generally had a very successful year with high enrolment numbers on most courses and few cancellations. Easingwold branch in particular were instrumental in organising two Climate Change workshops, which were funded through round 1 of the lfCI project. This workshop was extremely well received by members of the local community and a dvd of the event produced for circulation around the Region. Julia Thompson
home grown produce, were taken to the centre of Eastfield for community use and to inspire more residents to get involved with the project and also grow and eat their own health organic food. Even if residents don’t have a garden they can become involved with the project - window boxes and hanging baskets can be used to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs. The WEA is hoping to secure further funding to organise Family Gardening learning opportunities and would welcome volunteers who would be willing to help. It is hoped that the planters will inspire the community to work together on this incredible project so that Eastfield certainly becomes a growing community!
Support is also provided by local schools, Eastfield Children’s Centre, Coasters Cafe, Carewatch and the Police. Earlier this year the WEA got funding from the Department of Communities and Local Government’s Learning for Community Involvement fund for a visit to Todomorden and a campaigning DVD-making workshop for residents and partner organisation colleagues. Yorkshire Coast Homes were able to help by sponsoring the train fares for the group’s first fact-finding visit. WEA has provided the majority of the funding for eight plant containers which have been planted and are being nurtured by residents of all ages in five Eastfield schools. Eastfield Children’s Centre, Coasters Cafe and Carewatch. In July 2010 these containers, full of
Incredible Edible Eastfield
Yorkshire Coast Homes is playing a key role in a project designed to get residents in Eastfield eating organic fruit and vegetables and growing their own.
Selby, Hambleton & Richmondshire
he end of the WEA Big Lottery Fund Family Learning Project “All of Us Together” culminated in a wonderful weekend residential to Bristol. Families from Barnsley, Scarborough and Slough made the long but fun and eventful journey to the west country to be united with families from the Bristol project for a weekend of activities and togetherness. Over 80 parents, children, staff and volunteers of all ages and cultural backgrounds took part in a visit to Windmill City Farm and then on to Leigh Woods for some action packed group activities including den building, making a camp fire, woodland crafts and team intiative tests - the latter not being for the faint hearted! Back at the City Farm everyone tucked into a meal together and then enjoyed a slice of the huge end of project celebration cake which had been beautifully decorated, complete with WEA logo, by one of the Bristol volunteers. Sunday morning brought the opportunity for everyone to experience a piece of Bristol’s maritime history with a fascinating visit to the SS Great Britain. However all too soon it was time for everyone to head for home. We all did so with mixed feelings of eurphoria tinged with sadness as what had been an inspirational residential and project had now come to an end. Families had taken part in experiences that many of them had commented they would never forget. They had also made a lot of new friends. The coach journey back to Yorkshire was a lively one with everyone mixing together, chatting and laughing about the weekend’s exeperiences. It was certainly emotional when everyone said goodbye and it helped staff realise just how much impact that the project had on so many people. It has certainly energised ourselves as organisers and made us realise that the sustainabilty of this work is of paramount importance. Special thanks go to Elissa and Peter in Bristol for hosting the residential, to David Pittaway for the work on the designer T shirts and to Mary Curran for creating the dream in the first place. Diane Quinney Sheila Smith
Annual Review 09 - 10
Big Lottery Fund
Annual Review 09 - 10
Train the Take Part Trainers
he Train the Take Part Trainers programme is a national project which aims to build active citizenship skills and knowledge alongside the development of flexible teaching and learning methods and approaches within an adult education context. The Project with the support of funding from the Department of Communities and Local Government has provided a range of learning opportunities for over 350 people during phase one (from 1st September 2009 to 31st March 2010). Further learning opportunities will be offered during phase two (April to October 2010) and it is anticipated that the project will reach 825 new learners. The programme offers introductory courses, day schools and conferences through to the City and Guilds 7303 Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector, and attracted participants from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. For example the City & Guilds 7303 course in Sheffield consisted of 18 community activists. Many having progressed from
a variety of short ‘active citizenship’ learning activities with the WEA in 2009. They all have in common a commitment to community activism and a desire to encourage others to become active citizens. The group was diverse. It included men and women, as well as a rich ethnic mix and a span of ages. One participant is a refugee from the Ivory Coast, another comes from India, and two are from other parts of Europe: Poland and Croatia. The project has also involved a wide variety of partner organisations and community groups from Take Part Pathfinder lead organisations and Regional Take Part Champions, through to Local Authorities, Council for Voluntary Services, Children’s Centres, Refugee groups and organisations, and the Trade Union. Government Offices and Regional Empowerment Partnerships were also informed of the aims and proposed outcomes of the project and consulted on where best to target the resources. The Project started with a very successful Curriculum Conference in
Sheffield which was attended by 27 participants from a variety of partner organisations.
20 participants completed the evaluation forms. 10 participants suggested that Personal Benefit was excellent and 10 good. 16 participants said that Interaction and Participation was excellent and 4 good. All participants indicated that training methods used were either excellent or good with the exception of one who thought they were fair. The introductory courses, day schools and conferences, and the City and Guilds 7303 programme have been offered across all the 9 English regions and the feedback overall has been very positive.
In addition to the above learner outputs and outcomes the ‘project team’ has developed a range of teaching and learning resources in the form of a Curriculum Resource File. These will be made available shortly as on-line materials. The materials include: a Scheme of Work, Session Plans, Teaching and Learning materials, Resources and Handouts, as well as Useful References and Websites. The project team is looking forward to phase two developments and is in the process of identifying and prioritising areas for delivery. The project has given new opportunities to all participants to further their interests - as tutor/trainers, volunteers, community leaders or generally to develop and expand upon their own educational interests. As always the achievements to date are only possible because of the Project’s partnership with others and a willingness of partners to support in whatever way they could. And many thanks to the Project team - Paul Allender (Yorkshire & Humber Region), Joy Nancarrow (North East region) and Chris Sanders (Southern region), whose skills and commitment have contributed to the overall success of the project.
Annual Review 09 - 10
People power creates change in South Yorkshire “I matter, I have a say, which [together] with local people power will change policies and get things done to improve services for all” Take Part Pathfinder participant Traditionally, South Yorkshire has low levels of voter participation with, on average, only 1 in 4 people feeling able to influence the decisions taken locally. The Take Part Pathfinder programme wants to reverse this trend and seeks to create change – including political, social and practical change - which improves the lives of residents in Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster. The Take Part Pathfinder, funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government, is a 3-year civic
engagement programme to encourage local people to become more involved in the work of their council and to play an active role as engaged citizens. The Workers’ Educational Association has a proud track record of supporting community activity through radical adult education programmes and holds firm to the values of social purpose education. The Take Part work followed in this tradition and built new relationships, not only with local communities, but with local authorities and elected members. Learning programmes developed included: l Engaging, Informing and Listening to Women in South Yorkshire
l There is Life Beyond Sight Loss l Young People and Community Activism l Question Time (South Yorkshire) l Individual Profile in Active Citizenship (City and Guilds Award) l Does Politics need Parliament? (including a study visit to the Houses of Parliament) Matt Livingstone, a member of the TPP project team, said, ‘The Take Part Pathfinder project lived up to the high expectations set by previous WEA active citizenship courses. TPP helps people in South Yorkshire to press for change and demonstrates the contribution of adult education to maintaining a vibrant, democratic society’.
Annual Review 09 - 10
The WEA continues to work closely with other organisations and groups, using our combined energy and influence to make policy-makers aware of the public benefits of adult education. Our website at www.wea.org.uk/yh gives updates on campaigning themes and links to resources.
he WEA was quick to respond to the significant political change and uncertainty in 2009-10. Newly elected MPs all received copies of summary reports showing how the WEA is “Making Britain Better” and many WEA learners and members across the region and the country have spread the message to policy makers about the impact that adult education has on individuals, families and communities. We have also promoted circulation and consideration of an important report published as a result of an independent ‘Inquiry into Lifelong Learning’. A summary is available at: http://www.niace.org.uk/ lifelonglearninginquiry/docs/ IFLL-summary-english.pdf The report stated that, “the UK’s current system of lifelong learning has failed to respond to the major demographic challenge of an ageing society, and to variety in employment patterns as young people take longer to settle into jobs and older people take longer to leave work.” It pointed out the imbalance in the distribution of public funding for education across different life stages and suggested
basing lifelong learning policy on a new model of the educational life course, with four key stages (up to 25, 25–50, 50–75, 75+), “each funded to reflect a coherent view of our changing economic and social context.” At the time of writing the WEA is playing a significant role in a campaign to protect adult education and the voluntary and community networks that are vital to society. Many supporters are contacting MPs by email, postcards and letters as well as by face-toface meetings. Economic times are hard. This makes adult education all the more important so please keep revisiting the WEA’s website for updated information.
Annual Review 09 - 10
Mo won the Tutor of the Year Award for the impact her teaching has had on the lives of the learners who attend her courses in and around the Barnsley area. Two-thirds of Mo’s learners have physical or learning disabilities (or both), yet her success rate with these learners is over 85%. All her entry-level students work towards qualifications and she has worked closely with the City and Guilds exam board to implement access to assessment measures for people with learning difficulties and disabilities. She has
also played a key role in improving the quality of provision for such learners by mentoring new tutors and by training and advising support staff. Regional Skills for Life Coordinator Sharon Watson, who nominated Mo, says: “Mo changes lives and raises aspirations, from giving learners the skills to understand correspondence, read a book for the first time or support their children with schoolwork to helping them combat depression and secure employment”.
Tutor of the Year Maureen Stride National matrix Standard Award for the WEA Having obtained the matrix standard (the national quality mark for information, advice and guidance) eighteen months ago in Yorkshire and Humber Region, we recently went through the process of reassessment – this time as one national organisation rather than as separate regions. The process was successful both locally and nationally.
in the region and this was fed into the overall national assessment. Here are some points from his feedback on what he saw in Yorkshire and Humber. He picked up, again, on the passion and commitment of all the staff he came across.
As part of the process we had an assessor in the Yorkshire and Humber Region for two days having a keen look at the work we do. We passed with flying colours.
As the Association passed the matrix standard we will not be assessed for another three years though work is continuing both regionally and nationally to ensure we maintain and improve standards.
The assessor was clear that we still meet the standard
Thanks to everyone in the region for their support and engagement with this process.
Lecture by Professor Frank Coffield At our Annual General Meeting in November Professor Frank Coffield lectured us on “Education Before Business”. Frank is an Emeritus Professor of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London. He is very well known in the education sector and an inspiring speaker. His recent publications include ‘Just suppose Teaching and Learning became the First Priority’ and ‘Running ever faster down the Wrong Road’. Prof. Coffield is a critical friend of the education sector; critical because he believes that education could be improved and a friend because although neglected, education changes people’s lives for the better. To access the lecture please visit the link below: http://www.wea.org.uk/yh/new%20pages/Frank%20Coffield%20Lecture.htm
Obituaries, departures and arrivals We were sad to learn of the deaths of Alan Chester, Treasurer of South Cave Branch and Mike Sewell, tutor and member of the Hornsea group. We are grateful for their active support of the WEA and they are much missed. Our sympathy goes to their families. Frances Darlington, a long term WEA student and supporter in Sheffield, also died after a long illness. Frances was a much liked participant in Sheffield courses for many years. She campaigned for the rights of asylum seekers and refugees and personally supported many in
their plight. She also donated some of her book collection to the WEA. Sadly, we have had to say farewell to some staff members during the year. Karen de Lucchi, Laura Lewis and Chris Massarella left the field staff teams after several years of combined and valued service as WEA Organisers. Dot Nicholson retired from the Finance team after more than 25 years and Wynford Wright left the Course Processing Team to move to the USA. Jenny Major, Regional Educational Strategy Manager
retired from her role and is now doing Voluntary Service Overseas in Ethiopia. All these colleagues have made significant contributions to the WEA, in some cases whilst dealing with challenging health problems. We thank them all and wish them well – in every sense of that word. We also welcomed Katherine Hutt to the Regional Office where she has taken up an interim post as Regional Finance Manager.