How to Get Involved

Why get involved?

WEA Reading branch is three and a bit.

Surrounded by a crowd of helpful grown-ups (tutors) we're walking quite confidently. However this is a project for the long-term. How will we do as teenagers?

To do well, your volunteer committee must be good at renewing itself. It is vital that those joining our (mainly) happy band should be confident that they will be free to move on as they take up new projects and responsibilities.

Some of the friends who helped found our branch have moved on, and others have joined us. On the whole the work gets easier as we get better at it, and spread it between more people. So our toddler is walking pretty well. Entering our fourth year we are one of the largest WEA branches in Britain, and our programme (we hope you will agree) goes from strength to strength.

Let's hope the WEA Reading branch is here to stay. We may of course have to face external crises, as we faced and overcame the closure of Reading University Department of continuing education.

But my biggest concern is that we should build a habit of continual renewal of your committee. I will be happiest when I see new joiners rotate into some of the central jobs. Anyone for chairman?

Who?

I am hugely impressed by my fellow students. Most of you could make a valuable contribution to running the branch. (But not all at once… Form an orderly queue!)

How?

So please talk to a committee member or send us an e-mail or leave a message on our answerphone. We'll be happy to arrange that one of us chats over coffee about what might be involved and how (if you choose) you might start. There are all sorts of opportunities to help in a small or large way – helping devise our program, helping to administer classes, helping with bookings, helping to organise equipment, helping with organising events (like our AGM). Quite a lot of how we currently work is written up in a way we can share with you (an ongoing project).

No crisis – but an opportunity to enjoy helping a successful project go even better, and avoid it becoming a burden to any of us.

Paul Kingston
and the 15 other students currently on WEA Reading Branch committee and supporting groups