We run successful community based health and wellbeing education projects in selected geographical areas within the West Midlands region. In the main, our project work aims to tackle the risk of obesity and chronic illness (such as Coronary Heart Disease, diabetes, stroke) by promoting the benefits of physical activity and healthy living.

In the main, our project work aims to tackle the risk of obesity and chronic illness (such as Coronary Heart Disease, diabetes, stroke) by promoting the benefits of physical activity and healthy living. In this way, we help to meet the needs of local communities whilst contributing to health improvement targets of local authorities and NHS Primary Care Trusts.

WEA are rightly proud of our health projects; they have enabled thousands of adults to improve their health, fitness and life chances. Ofsted's recognition of our health education work as ‘outstanding' is particularly pleasing. The projects in this section describe some of the different ways we have worked with public sector and community organisations, to reach and engage with local people in imaginative ways.



The WEA was awarded £19,000 by The Rayne Foundation to develop and deliver a research project in collaboration with theUniversity of Oxford.

The Singing for Wellbeing research project was set up to explore the impact of adult education singing classes on people’s health and wellbeing within the West Midlands. 

Singing For Wellbeing has been a boost for our learners. Project work included the recruitment of over 90 people on 4 community-based singing courses over a 6 month period during 2014:



Key outcomes included:

87% of research participants reported improved mental health as a result of taking part in WEA singing courses,

60% reported improved physical health,

92% reported increased levels of confidence,

90% reported increased feelings of social inclusion or belonging,

68% reported a desire to attend more adult education classes

The research will add to the knowledge of health and well-being in the community and may have benefits in the future through influencing policy on adult education provision across Britain.



Please read the case study of one of the learners from the project, Claire Barnard:

Claire Barnard found confidence through the WEA's Singing For Wellbeing project.

A research project exploring the impact of adult education singing classes on people's health and wellbeing in the West Midlands



The research will add to the knowledge of health and well-being in the community and may have benefits in the future through influencing policy on adult education provision across Britain.



'Tandrusti' Health Education Project (Dudley)

Tandrusti meaning health and well-being in the main Asian languages is a leading-edge WEA West Midlands project that has used a community education approach to explore and promote the benefits of physical activity and healthy living amongst Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in Dudley

Tandrusti has run successfully for seven years following funding from the Big Lottery, Office of Public Health within Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council (formerly NHS Dudley Primary Care Trust) and the Workers' Educational Association. During this time, the project staff team has established excellent working relationships with several partners and contributed to a range of health networks addressing local priorities within the Borough.

A further two year Service Level Agreement has recently been secured with Office of Public Health within Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council covering the period 2014-2016. This will mean that hundreds more people are set to benefit from our health education programmes within deprived Borough wards.






Tandrusti Research

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) Connecting Communities Plus programme funded the WEA to carry out a '3 year Tandrusti action research project' (2006-2009).  The research identified health barriers and needs among people from a wide range of BME communities and helped to further develop partnerships with public bodies (such as the Local Authority) to shape future service provision within health deprived wards in Dudley.

We have published a report of the findings of the initial research process. The reports provide rich insight into health patterns and help identify barriers and inequalities to healthy living including; poor access to culturally aware health information, family obligations, confusion over healthy diets and level of recommended exercise.

The challenge now is to tackle identified barriers by working with partners to engage people in appropriate health education programmes, and develop the role of community volunteers to encourage people to adopt more healthy lifestyles. Also, to secure funding to further develop the role of community health volunteers to encourage people to adopt sustainable healthy lifestyles outside of Tandrusti programmes and activities. To achieve this we need to be able to plan ahead over several years and secure staffing, management and finance for future work.

If you would like to speak to someone to find out more about Tandrusti Courses please contact:

Tandrusti Project Manager: Harjinder Doranhdoran@wea.org.uk  or

Tandrusti Project Coordinator Joy Follisjfollis@wea.org.uk



The CHEST project aims to improve health and wellbeing of people by: 

- reducing levels of obesity (as well as the risk of chronic illnesses like coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes)
- improving confidence to access public health service provision
- promoting healthy lifestyle changes through preventative health education programmes
- developing a network of CHEST health groups that can undertake social action, strengthen social capital and contribute to other public health goals. 

We have secured Big Lottery Funding (2012-2017) from theReaching Communities programme to build on our successful first project offering health education to adults from a wide range of backgrounds in Stoke-on-Trent. Click to read the Press Release. We have also received funding and support over the course of the project from Stoke- on-Trent NHS and City Council and other funders and organisations.



We are pleased to announce that the 'Get Out Stay Well' project has recently been awarded a further year of funding £28,000 from NHS Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Group.

Part of the project activities are to design and develop short health education and physical activity courses for in-patients about to be discharged from hospital and regular users of out-patient services which will support them in independent and healthy living. This project started in April 2014 and will run until March 2016.

The target outcomes for patients by the end of the project will include: Health improvements and /or maintenance for independent living and development of peer support networks to help reduce the risk of social isolation. The above will contribute to the project objective of reducing patients likelihood of being re-admitted into hospital.


Clare White, WEA Project Manager said;

“We are so glad to be able to continue a project which many of our learners and partners have said helps people, especially the isolated, to lead a healthy life when they come out of hospital. Education at any age is a vital tool in maintaining health and coping with transition periods and we know that it helps people to feel able to make the most of local services and support networks. We are also really excited to have this opportunity to work directly with the CCG for the first time and are looking forward to being able to exchange learning with them on this project.”

For further details Please call Linda Harrington 07766 785927

All our courses are mixed.

Eligibility: Everybody over the age of 19 is welcome to join our health and fitness courses. 

We are always keen to develop links with organisations working with groups who would be interested in trying some exercise and health education. We accept Lifestyle Programme referrals and welcome referrals from surgeries and partner organisations. We will adapt activities for people with different levels of fitness and health.

Please telephone the office if you want to discuss any specific requirements or support needs. Our contact details: 01782 831911 or email lharrington@wea.org.uk