One thing I have learnt from WEA meetings is that apart from the WEA link the volunteers all lead busy lives with other voluntary activities. If there is time to chat, then a valuable network of contacts can be made, often to mutual advantage.
The WEA in West Midlands has been awarded £19,000 by The Rayne Foundation to develop and deliver a research project in collaboration with the University of Oxford.
Aldridge Branch of the WEA invited me to accompany them on a tour of Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire. Our WEA tutor for the afternoon was the historian Dr.Trevor James.
Curious to hear about a town, which to me seemed a rather prosaic and unexciting place, I went along willingly. To my delight, the visit proved to be fascinating and amazing.
Jenny Taylor came to Lea Hall WEA Study Centre in September 2011. She enrolled to do a course in Child Development and English level 1. Her youngest son was in the crèche during the time she attended the courses. It was a challenge to the Tutors to keep her focused at first, but within a few weeks it was clear that she was taking the courses seriously.
I first met Jill in 1996 when she was in the R2L group I was teaching in in Wolverhampton. That group has always been close to my heart – they were noisy, lively stimulating, all got on well, you could see everyone growing in confidence skills and knowledge, there was lots of learning going on and lots of fun. And Jill was central to that group. I could see she was special and that R2L was having a big impact.