Calling All Tutors!


WEA Older and Wiser Project

Calling all tutors who want to be part of our exciting new project targeting isolated older people in Leicester. Join us in our partnership with 16 other agencies using our expertise, imagination and passion for equality of opportunity to make a positive difference.

We’re looking for tutors who can:

·      Bring ideas for courses and different ways of engaging with older people who may be “hard to reach”

·      Deliver taster sessions across one or more of the Thurncourt, Latimer, Spinney Hills and Evington wards of Leicester. Timescales for these are October this year and will be repeated each term next year.

·      Deliver a taster session at the 1st October “Big Event”

·      Deliver short courses this term from October/November

·      Develop and deliver varying length learning programmes over the project period that respond to locally identified needs

Over the next 3 years we will be working alongside other organisations such as Age UK, Mosaic (disability services) the West Indian Senior Citizens Project, Citizens Advice and many more. Our aim is to deliver learning activities that help people to re-engage with their community, re-awaken dormant interests, discover new ones, build confidence and enable social connection. We have the freedom to be flexible and innovative in our delivery and will continually review and adapt our approach. Our offering will be diverse and responsive to need, whether that’s about local history, IT skills, art, craft, fashion, food, skills, music. . . . . There are no limits (well, not until we bump into them!)

Right now we’re in the process of engaging with communities and exploring what they may want. Very soon we will want to start testing out different learning opportunities. On 1st October we’re looking for one or two taster sessions to offer at the Leicester Ageing Together “Big Event” at Leicestershire Country Cricket Club. After that, we’ll respond to emerging needs and interest and offer a range of short courses to older people across the wards. And then we’ll carry on developing and refining our learning programme over the life of the project.

If you’re interested in working on this project, if you’ve got some ideas or experience from your knowledge of supporting learning with older people, if you’re raring to go and want to be at 1st October event or if you simply want to find out more, please get in touch with the Project Organiser, Sally Hall at , post a reply here or call on 0116 2556614.

6 word story – WEA Scotland’s campaign

Have you heard of this? why not join in? maybe your students would be interested in having a go?

6 word story – WEA Scotland

Just a short update to let you know that over the weekend we launched the WEA Scotland Six Word Story Challenge to coincide with the opening of this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival. We will also pick up on the ‘Aye Write’ festival, International Literacies day on 8th September, and other points throughout the year. A short blog has been written about the campaign on wordpress at

The campaign is good fun, yet aims to highlight the fact that over 1million adults in Scotland still experience literacies challenges. It was inspired by a fantastic case study  describing WEA Scotland’s work with literacies students using six word stories. Further inspiration also came from our recent input to a BBC Radio Scotland article on adult literacies in Scotland.

So far there has been a really good response – particularly on twitter – with a number of people picking up on the campaign. Amongst the authors we have targeted, people including Ian Rankin, Lesley Riddoch, Louise Welsh and Rob Sinclair have responded. Some have retweeted and some have contributed their own 6 word stories.

It would be really great if you could help by spreading the word and getting as many people as possible involved in promoting the campaign on facebook and twitter. We would love to get more student 6 word stories too.

Helping is simple. You can:

Post your six word stories on our Facebook page or Share on our Twitter stream @weascotland

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #6wordstochangetheworld 

Many thanks all

Jayne Stuart Director, WEA Scotland, 17, Gayfield Square,Edinburgh EH1 3NX

PS – any great ideas to contribute to building the campaign will be much appreciated.


Happenings in other WEA Regions

Nerviously waiting for a blood test, I was flicking through a discarded magazine and came across a mention of this: Seaside Rock

Seaside Rock is a film made by students on an Eastern Region WEA film making course. The students had no previous film making experience; this was a project-based course on the theme ‘The Great Yarmouth music scene of the 60s’. Led by tutor Brian Gardner and supported by BBC Voices and the Time and Tide Museum in Gt Yarmouth, the students themselves determined the direction of the film.

Mmmmm does get you wondering about what could be done .. with an idea,  contacts, a bit of money and a group of enthusiastic older students new to film making ……. social purpose education & community engagement anyone????

Stationery for you or your students

We’re having a clear out at the Leicester branch office in preparation for our move to 101 Hinckley Road on 13th August.

We have a large number of surplus A4 ring binders and lever arch files and an even larger number of plastic wallets. If anyone can use them, do give us a ring to arrange to collect them. 0116 2519740

Suffragettes – film out October 15

The film Suffragette is released on 30th October 2015. We’ve checked and it will be shown locally.

NB: New release date announced – film now out on 12th October

votes for women

SuffragetteColours   We’d appreciate suggestions for a talk/course/activities to either coincide with the release of the film or to offer in Spring term 2016. We’d anticipate offering ‘something’ in all parts of the region as we think the publicity around the flim will be BIG. There are places to consider visiting: The Pankhurst Centre 62 Nelson St. Manchester or the Suffragette collection at the museum of London you can also receive up to date information about the film on Twitter @SuffragetteFilm Film trailer:

Any ideas contact Nikki/Barbara/Andria  in the first instance – we’ll let the other organisers in the region know of your ideas. PS this could be an opportunity for cross curriculum activities

Found the B*ggas – recent post on the history space blog


It is supposedly summer, all is quiet, you might think we’ve forgotten you, but here’s a thought  to ponder over your iced Pimms* (*other iced alcoholic drinks are available)

Chat at a family gathering has prompted a recently retired family member to start her quest to find out more about our ancestry. The gathering was only 2 weeks ago and since then we’ve all received daily up-dates of her findings by email – some sent in the wee small hours.

‘Its addictive isn’t it?

‘What do you think a labourer at a mineral water works did?’

‘If we knew him as John, why do you think he was christened Colin, with no mention of John?’

‘Oh dear, some of the family are not going to like what I’ve found today!!’

‘Will you come and search around graveyards in North Staffordshire with me?’

AND finally the comment from the title – sent at 3.30am Tuesday this week (I apologise in advance for the swear word)

YAYYYY FOUND THE BUGGAS … They only went and changed the spelling of their surname mid-century

Now whilst I find this family member’s enthusiasm and exuberance thrilling; it has set me wondering .. discovering our personal past, our histories, is very important in our knowing and understanding who we are .. but how do we get this message out to potential students to our genealogy courses?

How  do we promote family history to show that tracing back your ancestors is about far more than discovering that X had two children out of wedlock?

From this, I then began to wonder about how we promote our other courses –   should we be thinking more creatively within our publicity about the perhaps ‘hidden’ course content – wider context etc and stating this,  not simply the specific course content/topics. As CIS are now mostly on-line, could we add a line relating to this? Or should we even be considering this?

Thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Meanwhile I await today’s email and along with it the next revelation!

Tutor Portal Training

WEA North East region are going to be running an online training session for tutors and have extended the invitation to tutors from the East Midlands. The Session will take place between 19:00 and 21:00 on Thursday 30th July.

To book a place simply click on the link below and follow the on screen instructions. Full details and further instruction will be supplied via email after a place has been booked.

News of a Reminiscence Resource via Marks and Spencer

 Information of a new resource which may be of use to any of you working with older people, or people with Dementia, or if your thinking of incorporating Reminiscence in your courses, or simply for general interest.
Bringing Our Heritage to You:
New Reminiscence Resources from the M&S Company Archive

It’s Dementia Awareness week and the M&S Company Archive is delighted to be launching exciting new resources available on loan for anyone interested in running a reminiscence session or activity.

Our reminiscence packs contain a selection of historical items based on two themes, ‘What We Wore’ and ‘Childhood’. The handpicked items such as children’s toys, games and clothing, men’s and womenswear and accessories, are specifically chosen to inspire people’s interest and to encourage them to share their memories. We also include all the information you need to run a reminiscence session including example questions, hints and tips and ideas for other reminiscence activities.

Since the M&S Company Archive opened to the public in March 2012, we have run an active community programme within the Leeds area, engaging with local groups using archive items from over 130 years of M&S history. Our new reminiscence packs will allow group organisers across the country to loan the resources to run their own sessions using some great M&S items. They will also enable more people to experience our fantastic collection and use it to spark their imaginations and share their memories.

A great activity for older people’s groups, care home residents or other community groups, reminiscence therapy and sharing memories can be a very sociable and enjoyable thing to be part of.  Through discussion about particular items, people gain increased feelings of self-worth, ability to communicate better and increased social interaction by sharing their experiences.

Would you like to borrow one of our packs?

To find out more information or to book a pack please contact the Archive Team on 0208 718 2800 or email us at

Calling craft and recycling tutors

17238599We’re having a bit of a clear out in the Leicester office.

We have many (and I mean many) used plastic wallets we no longer require.

if anyone can make use of these, perhaps in a recycling project? email me and I’ll arrange to get them over to you.

Women on the Map app

smartphone-clipart-gg60853238   Women in History app

A new app is being developed that makes your phone buzz when you are near a place where a woman has made history. Women on the Map app is part of Google’s Field Trip app it is aimed at girls 13-22 but am sure of interest to any age. Info

This has me thinking .. what interactive app would we like to see developed? and what a great enrichment resource this would be.