A group of elderly African Caribbean WEA students have hit the media yet again by staging a play based on the Legend of Sammy, one of Jamaica's legendary characters who planted crops until it eventually led to his death. The elderly students who meet regularly at the Kings Heath Community Centre are learning about culture and creativity and this has been helping to increase the groups' mental and spiritual wellbeing.
I would never have believed when I first started with the WEA that I would be writing, illustrating and publishing my own children’s story books. It all started back in 2007, I was a single mum unable to work due to arthritis, money was tight and my social life non existent. My friend Sue told me about the Tai Chi class she attended, which was run by The WEA at Lea Hall in Rugeley.
Andrew lives with his parents who take care of his needs, he has done a number of courses with me over the past three years and after a short break has returned this year. He is in his thirties and has moderate learning difficulties. In his case this means that he has limited reading and writing skills but he can communicate verbally using short sentences.
In September last year WEA students in Rugeley started an innovative course all about recycling old things. On the course, students learned about sustainability and recycling through 'upcycling' old items of clothing and furniture in creative ways.
Students from a WEA Tai Chi course in Telford have been reflecting on the their course and have written about how the course has made a difference to their health and wellbeing. Tutor Craig Swinnerton, as part of the end of course reflection and evaluation asked students to write how they felt about it, and it was quite encouraging to see the impact the course was making to their lives.