We believe that everybody should have easy access to high-quality education, no matter their circumstances or reason for learning.
For tens of thousands of people across the UK, community and adult learning provides them an opportunity to a better future. The impact is not only on employability but their health and wellbeing, family life and community engagement. It results in closer families and communities. A sense of belonging. The confidence to face tomorrow.
Our own research shows that through engaging with adult education, 96 percent of our students said their course keeps their mind active, 86 percent made new friends and 67% take up new hobbies, which helps to tackle loneliness and social isolation. In addition to this –
- 57% of students who were unemployed and looking for work before the course became employed after
- 63% improved their communication skills with over a third improved language and literacy skills
- 82% of students with mental health issues reported improvements in their condition
- Nearly three quarters reported an increase in confidence
- 65% of WEA students with children under 18 improved their confidence in helping their children with reading, writing or maths as a result of their course
If a learner can re-enter the classroom, they are already well on their way. For employability, yes. But also for people’s mental health, their confidence, and their self-esteem. But those first steps are critical in helping them find their feet or to get them out and about meeting new friends in their local community.
You might be surprised to learn just how many adult education courses are available. You could uncover a creative talent you’ve been longing to explore, take your computer skills to the next level, gain employment skills, or just improve your basic maths or English.
One of our students, Yvette who was widowed four years ago found herself struggling with isolation, until a friend shared a link to a WEA course in Braintree, Essex. She has always loved art, so decided to give it a go. She found a warm and friendly group where she felt valued, and the course rekindled her confidence and creativity. In fact, it proved such a confidence booster that Yvette went on to get a job as a nursery teacher – something she would never have done before joining the WEA.
“Human interaction makes such a difference. When others know your name, and say ‘how are you doing?’ or ‘see you next week’, it’s a simple gesture, but it’s also really uplifting.”
“I’m truly grateful for the welcoming atmosphere at the WEA and without the course; I wouldn’t have had the confidence to find a job.”
During the Festival of Learning’s Have a Go Month, in June, the WEA will have taster sessions to inspire people of all ages to ‘have a go’ at learning something new.
What I would say is find out what’s on in your area and sign up today. It could transform your life.