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Support and Funding

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     Workers Education Association
Their vision is to be the recognised voice of adult learners, and the leading provider of adult and community learning in the UK by any standard. WEA is a 21st Century, democratic, voluntary adult education movement, committed to widening participation and to enabling people to realise their full potential through learning.
     Educational Maintenance Award (EMA)
This is a mean tested benefit for students 16-19 years in full time education and is available on a sliding scale for those whose household income is below £30,000 per year.
     University of the Third Age (U3A)
U3A groups around the United Kingdom are members of the Third Age Trust. Its main purpose is to encourage lifelong learning for those no longer in full time gainful employment. The subjects tackled vary with each U3A and the number offered will depend on the size and enthusiasm of the group.
     Career Development Loans
Career Development Loans are available to individuals who may borrow £300 - £8,000 to help fund two years of learning plus one year practical work experience where it is part of the course.
     Job Seekers Allowance
Adults who are unemployed may be eligible to receive Job Seekers Allowance whilst studying part time. It is not normally available for full time study except in specific circumstances.
     Useful starting points
Not sure where to start? Find out more about yourself, the world of work, getting a job or continuing your education.
     The Work Foundation
The Work Foundation, formerly The Industrial Society, combines leading-edge analysis of the modern workplace with practical experience of what inspiring and successful businesses and public sector organisations look like today. It is a new kind of organisation - part research institute, part business consultancy, part advocate. The Work Foundation takes the original vision and purpose of The Industrial Society, building on that proud heritage to create a distinctive and authoritative voice on work for the 21st Century. We offer new thinking, research, and solutions to the challenge of making our workplaces more effective, more successful and more fulfilling.
     The National Council for One Parent Families
The National Council for One Parent Families promotes the welfare of lone parents and their children. Their aim is to overcome the poverty, isolation and social exclusion which so many face. They offer parents the means to help themselves and their families by providing information and advice, working with communities, and by developing new solutions to meet changing needs.
     The Department for Work and Pensions
The Department for Work and Pensions is responsible for delivering support and advice through a modern network of services to people of working age, employers, pensioners, families and children and disabled people. Their key aims are to help their customers become financially independent and help reduce child poverty.
     Working Families
Holding down a job is hard. Bringing up children or taking care of elderly parents is tough. Doing both - and getting the balance right - is doubly difficult. Today, work comes first too often. For the sake of our families, wouldn't it be good to shift the balance in favour of the family? Children need our income - but also our time and attention.
     Financial help for students
To help you get the best out of going to university or college, there is a range of†financial help available.
     Learning from Experience Trust (LET)
Although most of us recognise and value the learning we gain through our formal education and training, we do not always place equal value on our informal learning. By far the greatest part of our learning is achieved outside formal education and training through our everyday experiences of acquiring knowledge and information by watching others, asking questions, solving problems and experiencing success and failure. Learning from our experience involves more than just gaining the experience itself. It also involves thinking through the experience to interpret and extract its meaning, in order to increase our understanding, knowledge and skills. Since its formation in 1986 as a not-for-profit educational charity, the Learning from Experience Trust has been promoting learning from experience as a valid and valued part of lifelong learning.
Gingerbread, the leading support organisation for lone parent families in England and Wales. Gingerbread was started in 1970 and is a registered charity maintained by lone parents. At this site you will find valuable information about support for lone parent families.
     Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities
Its aim, through training, preparation and guidance, is to help people with disabilities to secure and maintain worthwhile employment matched to their talents and aspirations, by persuading employers to recognise positive ability and potential, not disability. Services are offered free of charge from a network of 12 regional centres and 4 special needs clubs around the country.
     Educational Guidance Service for Adults (EGSA).
The core work of EGSA is to provide independent, client-centred information, advice and guidance to adults to assist them to access or progress in learning, of whatever kind, for whatever reason. The service was established in 1967 and has been grant aided by the Department of Education (now Department for Employment and Learning) since 1970. EGSA has always attracted a wide range of adult clients, including people wishing to change vocational direction or to restart their learning after a break. We are particularly interested in reaching people who have benefited least from formal learning.
     Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
DSAs help with costs you incur, in attending your course, as a direct result of your disability. DSAs are available to full-time and part-time students with disabilities although part-time students must be studying at least 50% of a full-time course. DSAs are available to both undergraduates and postgraduates. How much you can get does NOT depend on your income or that of your household. Unlike a student loan, this assistance does not have to be repaid.
     Daycare Trust
Daycare Trust is the national childcare charity. We have been working since 1980 to promote high quality affordable childcare for all. We know how important it is to make the right childcare decision for your child and we hope this website will help you find out more about childcare
     Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit
Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit are part of the Government's programme for tackling poverty and making work pay. Find out what Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit are and how you can get them.
     Access Funds / Hardship Loans
Your college can also give you some financial help if you experience financial difficulties. For those difficulties Access funds and Hardship loans are available. They can be used to help with living expenses and course costs including childcare costs, travel, accommodation costs, household expenses, books and course equipment. You will usually need to wait until you have started your course before you can apply for either a hardship loan or an Access Funds payment. If you are thinking of studying part-time you can also get financial help. Many colleges help out their students by giving discounts on the tuition fees. For further information about having your fees waived, contact your college. Part-time students on low incomes can apply for a loan to help with the costs of their course and Access Funds are available to meet general living costs.