Our volunteers help organise and deliver the WEA courses in London delivered through our branches. Some are former WEA students; others have been active in education or voluntary organisations in other ways. We’re always looking for new volunteers to help develop our course provision and our branches across London.
Volunteer Case Studies
Bill - 70 years old, former civil servant, not seeking a qualification, interests: science, genetics
Joan - 52 years old, professional, interests: the humanities, part-time higher education, university level
Nirmal - 27 years old, unemployed, in a long term hostel, interests: writing, painting
Michael - 18 years old, youth club member, interests: film-making, script-writing, music technology
Some volunteers get involved in organisational meetings at branch, Region or even National level. London Region has a Regional Committee, which is responsible for scrutiny and governance of the management of curriculum, assets and resources in London. Some of the Committee also sit on a Strategy and Scrutiny sub committee.
The Volunteers who currently hold offce on the Regional Committe are:
David Lanch Chair
David’s involvement with the WEA as student and tutor goes back to the early 1970s. He taught literature and still attends classes in the humanities. Between 1986 and 1997 he was a district (regional) officer, in turn vice-chair, chair and treasurer, and resumed the treasurer role in 2007. At national level he was a trustee for 20 years, including terms as treasurer and president. He is a chartered accountant and barrister, and retired in 2002 after a career as a tax adviser and law lecturer. Apart from the WEA he now spends his time going to plays, concerts, cricket and interesting places around the world.
Alistair Milliken Treasurer
|Caryle Webb-Ingall Portfolio Holder for Education
I’m a newcomer to the WEA, joining a London History class some 7 years ago to get to know people living locally as well as expand my knowledge. Since then I have acquired a job teaching this subject – I’m passionate about London and what has happened or indeed is happening now in our city. My professional (paid) work was as a manager in adult and community education in Essex and London where I worked for 30 years and I’m continuing to use my skills and experience in retirement. Although I am on regional committees I am also a member of my local branch so, while all branches are different, I understand some of the concerns of branches and try to consider the impact of centrally madedecisions or policies on learners and branch members.
Retirement is certainly "a process" not "an event" for me and each year brings changes and fresh ideas - at the moment I seem to have lots of challenges. Amongst other things, I am a school governor and member of a major committee of my local council. In my “other” life I am gradually uncovering my family history and discovering cousins: I have five little granddaughters and spend time exploring London or away in our Campervan in Britain and abroad.
Martin Sundram WEA Council Representative
A strong inbuilt sense of curiosity caused Martin, as a student, to dabble in subjects as varied as Art, Law and Postcolonial History throughout a long career as a lifelong learner. With a varied background in further and higher education, he today combines his Association duties with a busy day job working for UCU, the university lecturers'union, and playing the electric guitar badly (though not generally at the same time). As well as having chaired WEA's London Region since 2006, Martin currently sits on the Association's Standing Orders Committee, which is responsible for the traditionally colourful conduct of business at WEA's biennial Conference.
Eileen Ramberan Portfolio Holder for Volunteers and Training
Eileen has been involved with the WEA since the 1980's. Her story as a WEA volunteer is a typical one: after attending WEA classes for several years she became a class secretary and then joined the branch committee in 1987. After holding various posts she became Branch Secretary in1993 - a post she holds to this day. After some years serving on what was then the SE District Committee she became Vice Chair of the London Region in 2004. Professionally, she worked in local government in a range of areas, including Bexley's Central Child Protection Service and, later, Leisure Services.
|David Freeman Association Committee Member elected by London Region
David was formerly on the WEA NEC (National Executive Council) since 2003.Now since incorporation the NEC has been replaced by the Association Committee. The group that overseas WEA nationally. He has been a Transport Salaried Staffs Association delegate for the last five years. He retired in December 2003 after over 41 years working for London Transport / London buses, latterly on specifying and funding bus stations. Apart from day schools, his experience as a WEA learner was on a ten day Health and Safety course some years ago.
As a volunteer, you may get involved in a range of activities connected to our courses:
working with a small group of people to find out what courses students would like locally
arranging the venue for the course, or finding a tutor through the Regional tutor panel
taking responsibility for local publicity or enrolling students
keeping records or managing course fees
planning and managing events to supplement the courses, such as visits to museums or historic sites.
We try to encourage people to do small jobs as well as large ones, as the amount of time people can commit themselves is usually limited. Whatever the time or skills you feel you can contribute, we'll find you a role. All the work of volunteers is supported by our paid organisers.
Becoming a Volunteer in London
If you’d like to become a volunteer, find out more by talking to members at your local branch or by contacting us.
Here is a map showing details of existing branches in London. If there is no Branch close to you, we can help you set one up.
The WEA is a membership organisation; to become a WEA member, simply fill in a form when you enrol on one of our courses, or request a form from the Regional Office.
Contact us by e-mail at
or use the details on the contacts page