Sue's English Group
A literacy group in Kent, which produced two published award-winning poets, refused to let the closure of their class stop them learning, so they raised the funds to keep going independently.
Four years on, having hired tutor Sue Gorton in 2006 to lead the group, they have excelled with showcase literary performances, including a presentation to the Mayor of Gravesham and at the Christmas Fayre. “This is a remarkable story of perseverance and determination by a group of adults who have discovered the joy of learning together,” said Sue.
The group said the closure threat was devastating. “Lack of confidence started to re-emerge and a feeling of isolation.” But, determined to continue, they raised over £1,000 through luncheons, teas, boot sales, raffles, and craft sales, including making their own Christmas cards – and won further donations from the local councillors and charities.
Mel Finch, one of the prize-winning poets, said that, having left school feeling a failure, she finally decided to join the group to tackle her literacy problems and help her children with their homework. She discovered that “the joys of the English language hold the key to the person I am and the person I want to be.”