In 1909 George Cadbury Jr. founded Fircroft College of Adult Education and established an institution that would transform the lives of thousands of people over the next 100 years.
The college was founded with a firm social justice mission, transforming the lives of thousands of disadvantaged and socially excluded adults across the UK.
Many of Fircroft’s learners have missed out on conventional education due to challenging personal and family circumstances – often through no fault of their own.
The college offers a wide range of courses and training from basic English and Maths right up to the Access to Higher Education Diploma which prepares learners for University entrance.
The educational offering is only part of what makes Fircroft such a valuable asset to disadvantaged people and society as a whole.
Its residential facility enables learners to immerse themselves in a positive learning and social environment which helps develop inter-personal skills, friendships and trust.
Despite the valuable and essential nature of Fircroft’s work, it’s facing potentially devastating cuts of 25-40% in funding.
These cuts would make it very difficult for the college to continue delivering education to some of the most vulnerable in society.
In 2014, Fircroft was invited to a Parliamentary reception to celebrate the contribution that ‘Specially Designated Institutions’ make to adult education.
The reception was attended by Baroness Gillian Shepherd, Labour peer Baroness Janet Whitaker and Skills Minister Nick Boles who said:
“These (Specially Designated Institutions) organisations deliver learning that has profound, life-changing impacts on the lives of individuals, families and communities, particularly those who are disadvantaged.”
There are hundreds of examples of people whose lives have been transformed by Fircroft College. Often, these learners go back into the community to help benefit the lives of many others.
One such example is Rob, who came from a background of drug and alcohol dependency as well as spells of living on the streets. After a number of courses at Fircroft, Rob progressed to university and subsequently gained a Masters. He’s now a professional counsellor helping people overcome problems like he experienced. He says of his time at Fircroft:
“The support I received was incredible. Fircroft taught me how to embrace education.”
If you think organisations like Fircroft should be sufficiently funded so that they can continue to help disadvantaged people, please take a few seconds to sign this petition.
If you’re a current or former Fircroft learner, there are additional ways you can support our campaign by visiting this page.
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