Working with our community and beyond

We have been incredibly busy at Hive over the last 2 weeks. Our WEA courses are in full swing and our students and service users have been making the building buzz after the more relaxed atmosphere of the warm summer months.

Our Thrive project users and volunteers have been busy creating a beautiful video piece in some video workshops led by Jenny Eells from the BBC #mybradford campaign. We are launching the video here in response to World Mental Health Day which is tomorrow 10th October, #WorldMentalHealthDay #WMHD for which the theme this year is Dignity. You can watch the video here.

It keeps me sane, it really does.

We are supporting the Workers Educational Association in their #saveadulteducation campaign in the run up to the Comprehensive Spending Review in November. Please get involved and help us spread the word: Adult education is under threat.

You can help the campaign by telling us stories about what adult education means to you. Tell us why you value adult education. To give your views please email or We also have a meeting at Hive on Saturday the 31st October 2015 at 3.30pm where Phillip Davies MP will be in attendance and answer any questions about this you may have. We will also be giving him our hand signed petition. Please join us if you can.

The Government is currently preparing its Spending Review for the next 5 years and will announce its plans on 25th November 2015.  The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, which funds the WEA and other adult learning institutions like ourselves, has been asked by the Chancellor to suggest cuts of 25% and 40%.

Less than 6% of Government spending on education and training is devoted to adult further education and skills. Further cuts, on top of the 24% and 3.9% per cent cuts to the Adult Skills Budget already announced this year, will have a devastating impact on a service that is life-changing for many people.

Putting that in context, over the next 10 years there will be 13.5 million more jobs but only 7 million young people coming into the workforce. At the same time employer investment in skills and training has declined by 2.5 billion since 2011. Apprenticeships alone will not fill the gaps. In addition, the research shows that adult education improves health and wellbeing, develops confidence and builds better communities.

Over the next few weeks we are hoping to reach thousands of students, members and supporters of the WEA as well as a vast range of partners and friends who share our concerns. Our aim is to raise awareness, make the case for adult education and to give adult learners a voice.

We need you – the WEA’s greatest advocates – to help. Individual letters or emails to your local MP and the Chancellor will make all the difference and make sure that adults are not forgotten when cuts are being made.

Thank you very much for your help, we only have a few weeks to make a difference!


  1. Write to your local MP – the sooner the better
  • Click here to find your MP’s contact details
  • Write to them by letter or email or contact them via social media. A template of what you might consider writing can be downloaded here.
  • Write also to the Chancellor George Osborne at HM Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road, London, SW1A 2HQ or email:
  • Let us know you have written either by copying any emails to the WEA at or by letting a member of WEA staff know you have contacted your MP
  1. Spread the word on social media
  • Use #saveadulteducation on twitter and tell the world about the impact adult education has had on your life, family and community
  1. Sign our campaign petition asking the Government to stop further funding cuts to Adult Education.

Thank you for your support. Here is a video showing how adult education helps them.

Last but definitely not least, this week I attended the 2020+ Arts in Health conference at Manchester Metropolitan University. This was a full day conference with speakers from the UK, Lithuania, Finland and Japan.

The day started with an inspirational opening from Clive Parkinson the Director of the Arts in health department at MMU and was followed by a morning of inspiring presentations by researchers in Europe and Japan about the effect of the arts in health settings and education.

After lunch the day continued with short presentations from Arts in health practitioners who talked about their own workplaces which included a variety of settings from inpatient psychiatric units to environmental arts initiatives and the need for research into the Arts in Health. All of these settings and projects around the UK are actively living and breathing the philosophy that art is good for us when we are ill but also when we are well, for community building and for individual strength.

The 5 ways to5 ways to wellbeing wellbeing (NEF 2008) were
repeatedly represented as a model in which to base this work upon. As you all know Hive has been using the 5 ways to wellbeing consistently and exists and  to provide a community space and a warm centre where people can come to find or build upon their creativity and flourish, not only in their medium but also within their relationships and within themselves.

For anyone interested in the Arts in health, visit their blog here. Arts in health is described as a cultural and political movement and below is a photograph showing you the aims and objectives by 2020.

2020+ conference

Thanks for reading, please feel free to comment on any of our stories or if you have an idea for a story, please share it with us and we will try and make it happen.


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