Return to Learn: Learning and Organising in South Tyneside

Return to Learn course picture

UNISON members gathered at a South Tyneside hotel to celebrate their achievement at the weekend residential school which marked the end of UNISON Northern Region’s ‘Return to Learn’ course.

The fifteen week course was aimed at UNISON members who had not taken part in formal education for some time or who had not found the success they wanted when they had been in formal education. Work was based on life skills and everyday Maths and Literacy activities. The course was delivered by WEA tutor and UNISON activist, Jane Parkes along with UNISON ULR, Hazel Kjebekk.

Sunday 5th February saw an informal graduation ceremony where the successful students were joined in their celebration by Clare Williams, Regional Secretary; Janet Green, South Tyneside LG Branch Secretary; Marion Langley, South Tyneside Health Branch Secretary; Anne Hansen, Project Manager for Bridges to Learning.

The UNISON students evaluated their experience of the course highly: enjoying opportunities for personal development and growth in addition to increasing their key skills and confidence. Discussion looked forwards to future learning opportunities and active participation in UNISON.

The plenary session of the weekend allowed the course participants and guests to reflect on the vital importance of placing education at the heart of all UNISON organising work.


Pat Dejonge, Sharon Keedy, Pamela Loreilhe, Julie Telford, Sharon Thompson, Carole Owen

Janet Green, Marion Langley, Clare Williams, Anne Hansen, Jane Parkes, Hazel Kjebekk