Thursday 24th April will see the first of 10 weekly meetings at the Health Hydro in Milton Road, Swindon for a Watercolour Painting course organised by the Swindon Women’s Branch of the WEA (Workers’ Educational Association).
The WEA is the UK’s largest voluntary provider of adult education. Ever since it was founded in 1903, in order to support the educational needs of working men and women, the WEA has maintained its commitment to provide access to education and learning for adults from all backgrounds. The WEA is one of the UK’’s biggest charities, and operates at local, regional and national levels. Nine Regions in England, a Scottish Association and over 650 local Branches make up the WEA’s National Association. Through these local and regional centres, today’s WEA now runs over 10,000 courses each year, providing learning for more than 110,000 adults of all ages and drawn from all walks of life.
The WEA has had a presence in Swindon since 1908. The Swindon Women’s Branch of the WEA was set up in 1984 in order to provide opportunities for women who may have missed out on education. Except in very specific circumstances, courses are open to both male and female learners but the Branch aims particularly to reach women who are facing disadvantage in order to provide opportunities for growth and empowerment.
In addition to the Watercolour Painting course, they offer a wide range of courses, many of which have come from suggestions made by the women themselves. The courses fall broadly into the following key areas: confidence building and self-esteem, health and wellbeing, subjects where women have traditionally been excluded, women’s issues which widen perspectives on the factors affecting women’s position in society, courses which directly improve employment prospects (e.g. Preparing for Paid Work).
The Swindon Women’s Branch currently receives some funding from Swindon Borough Council, in addition to the core funding that comes from the Learning and Skills Council. The Swindon Borough Council grant will cease at the end of March 2009.
The Watercolour Painting course, run by Sue Klemencic, is open to both beginners and to those who have done painting before, who wish to build or improve their watercolour techniques. Sessions run from 10am -12 noon and the cost for the 10 week course is £72 (Free of charge to those on certain means tested benefits).
For more details on this and all available courses for the Summer Term and a booking form call 01793 618233 or you can visit www.weaswindonwomen.org