Over the last 15 years have I been a learner with WEA. I have completed courses ranging from sewing for beginners to Level 2 in Community Interpreting. I then become WEA volunteer to support tutor and student in the courses and publicity for the WEA courses in the community. I have been shadowing a tutor who delivers community interpreting and will shortly be delivering the course myself.
I choose the WEA because the courses were delivered within the local community and were easily accessible. Another reason was the courses were delivered during school hours, making it easy for me to commit and complete the course as I did not have to worry about childcare. These community courses been deliver by very professional tutors.
Having the opportunity to access short courses with the WEA helped me gain the confidence to complete my degree. I feel that if I had not completed shorter courses over the years I would not have had the confidence to complete my degree and then pursue my passion of teaching by completing my PGCE.
To gain experience of teaching in the lifelong sector, as I have volunteered with the WEA I have also volunteered with several local organisations planning and delivering ESOL lessons
I was not a student on any course rather I am the manager and founder of an organisation who help women and children and was looking for someone to run courses within the area of Pendle and Burnley. We soon had courses running in Nelson, Brierfield and Burnley with amazing turnouts and above all the ladies enjoyed every course that ran within this area. My experience of the managers and the tutors from WEA was that they were professional, very much invested in making a difference and had a real connection with the learners. This was needed urgently within our deprived area. Due to COVID our normal lives came to a standstill and I felt that our women had lost momentum so I asked if there would be an opportunity for me to train with WEA as volunteer to support the local communities with the intention of teaching our local ladies and getting them on track. I have been through a series of online training and have found this to be very informative and has given me confidence. I am pleased to say I am now WEA tutor and volunteer member. I am using the platforms such as Zoom to run online classes. I hope to run more online classes such as Basic English, Confidence Building and sessions on Mental Health.