We have come to the end of our 2013/14 funding year of our Personal and Community Development Courses funded throughStaffordshire County Council’s Adult and Community Learning programme. We have however, recently been successful in renewing the contract for a further year and it will now continue on into 2014/15.

The project has had many successful learner stories, in particular one of our leaners Jane Smith (below) has written about her experience of attending one of the project’s courses and the impact that it has made:

Jane Smith and her artwork.

My name is Jane Smith; I am 39 years old and married with 3 children. I am a full time carer at home for my middle child who has a severe learning disability and epilepsy. I‘d always been interested in art and originally joined the WEA at an art circle. It was nice to meet new people and share tips. Initially I attended for the social aspect of the circle but when the circle became an art class I started to appreciate the tutorial also. I was encouraged to use different art materials to produce pieces of art and this improved my technique.

 I’ve since become interested in looking at art and I’ve visited numerous local galleries and also visited some on holiday. My interest has also had an impact on my family, my husband is enjoying visits to the galleries and my youngest child is interested in all the art books I’ve collected.

My confidence in my own abilities continues to improve and I’ve recently been asked to submit some illustrations for a children’s book. I’m hoping to have a local exhibition in the future and continue to improve my skills, techniques and subject range by attending more art classes with the WEA."


New Directions 2

New Directions 2 (Worcestershire County Council 2013/2014)

We secured funding from Worcestershire County Council Community Learning Fund to work with people who are homeless, or at risk of being homeless in Worcester City. New Directions 2 follows a successful pilot project (New Directions 1) run at Maggs which engaged 25 people with 21 of these achieving learning objectives.

The purpose of New Directions 2 is to try to engage people who are homeless and encourage them to take the first steps into education and training. Our learners are often people who have been put off education and may feel uncomfortable in an open access classroom setting. It can be hard for them to engage with courses, particularly if they are leading chaotic lifestyles and have issues around low self-esteem and confidence levels.

We offer a range of workshops, short courses and 1-1 sessions. While the subject matter of the courses is important (Confidence, IT, Arts/Crafts, Assertiveness, Cooking, Improving literacy/numeracy skills, etc.) it is secondary to the task of engaging the client group and encouraging them to see that they have the capabilities to learn – whatever their starting point . The courses are being run in partnership with 'Maggs Day Centre and St Paul’s Hostel' and are held at these venues. This has benefits as the clients are familiar with the venues and are happy attending with venue staff helping to encourage people to attend the courses. Encouragement to take even small steps to engage and learn is a positive outcome. If we can encourage students to the point where they feel they have the ability to enrol on other courses it is a real bonus.

Some learner achievements :

-A gentleman with learning difficulties at St Paul’s Hostel has plucked up courage to come and sit in on the Confidence course, he is not contributing much yet, however the Hostel staff are impressed that he is attending each session.

-A gentleman who attended the Drama Workshop course has made a short video about what it is like to be homeless.



This section provides a selection of WEA West Midlands past Community Educational Projects, please click on the links below tor on the drop down on the left to read about  them.

Please contact Howard Croft (West Midlands Project Coordinator) , 0121 237 8133 if you would like further information. 


WEA West Midlands Project Funder/Donor List (1st August 2013 – May 2015)


We are pleased to acknowledge financial support from the following organisations:


-The region’s core funding comes from our contribution to the WEA National Association’s contract with the Skills Funding Agency (SFA).

-Service Level Agreement with Office of Public Health within Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council (formerly NHS Dudley Primary Care Trust) to deliver health education and physical activity programmes within health deprived communities in Dudley Borough 2008-2014, and 2014-2016.

-Delivering outdoor health and fitness activities in parks and open spaces as part of the 'Dudley Healthy Towns' initiative via funding from Office of Public Health within Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council (formerly NHS Dudley Primary Care Trust) (2011-2016).

-Delivering ‘Tandrusti,’ a health and well being education project targeted at Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities within deprived wards of Dudley via the Reaching Communities Programme (2012-2017).

-Community Health Education in Stoke on Trent (CHEST); grant from Reaching Communities to deliver health education programmes within deprived neighbourhoods in Stoke-on-Trent (2008-2011). Funding has also been secured from the 'Lottery'for the project to run from Jan 2012 to Jan 2017.