I’m a senior research fellow at NIACE and until July was their Head of Learning in Families and Communities. I’ve worked for 40 years in adult learning: as a WEA Tutor Organiser; teacher in community and higher education; and at NIACE where I led on the third sector, informal learning, citizenship and learner voice.
I believe learning is at the heart of a more equal, democratic and sustainable society and I’m honoured to support the WEA in building learning in communities.
My exposure to the work of the WEA is relatively recent, but I strongly support the values of the Association. I currently chair a network of women at Loughborough University who are actively fundraising and profile building for the WEA Nottingham Women’s Branch. I attended a WEA and Lloyds Banking Group event in 2015, where critical research the accessibility of financial planning for women was discussed.
In the past few years, I have worked on a number of projects aimed at widening participation in WEA provision. I’m currently the Director of Bright Ideas Nottingham, a partner organisation delivering WEA projects in diverse communities. These include ‘Tackling Race Inequalities’, ‘Take Part Provision’ (active learning for active citizenship) and ‘Women Leading for Change’. As an ambassador, I aim to build the profile of the WEA through continued partnership working, community blogs and social media.
After a period of significant ill health, I connected with a WEA project. Following its completion, I was signposted to a preparing to teach qualification, which I succeeded in achieving, before embarking on work as a sessional tutor.
As an ambassador, I have had the incredible opportunity to be involved in the National Conference and have represented the organisation at the regional committee numerous times.
My personal progression, development and positive health continue thanks to the opportunities the WEA has provided me with.