Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan soon realised that shared laughter was an essential part of the mix, as Intensive Creative Writing Workshop members shared and discussed their work in the final session of a four week course. Nicky visited Loughborough Branch on Friday 22nd July and for part of the time joined Deb Tyler-Bennett’s group. Afterwards Deb gave her an anthology of students’ work , and some students lingered behind, keen to impress on Nicky just how much they valued their weekly meetings, which gave them so much more than the chance to improve their writing. In busy and sometimes very stressful lives, the chance to meet with friends and immerse themselves in the work provided a breathing space that was much needed and very therapeutic.
Nicky also met Tutor Organiser Mike Wilson, and the Branch Secretary and Treasurer. She was keen to find out about about WEA’s history, and we made sure to tell her about the work done not only in the branch but more widely too. Naturally our Good rating from Ofsted slipped into the conversation, and the fact that all our tutors have, or are working towards, a teaching qualification. Mike was keen to tell her about comments from the end of term feedback forms (yes, those – they really do get noticed!) and how they showed the many wider benefits that students felt they had gained such as friendship and social interaction, de-stressing etc.
Nicky also enjoyed seeing a range of art work loaned by members of our various Art courses, and a display of photographs of classes in action and art work produced by one of WEA’s local courses for groups with various disabilities. Many thanks to our artists, and to Mike for the photographic work.
We found Nicky very friendly, interested and easy to talk to, and wished we could have spent more time than an hour with her. Nonetheless we’re sure she left with a much fuller idea of what WEA has to offer both locally and nationally.