The YMCA George Williams College Further Education (FE) Department originally started in the late 1970’s, when it began a Level 3 access to higher education programme for youth workers. In the late 1980’s the FE department began to develop programmes for Level 3 students who were part of two different Rank Foundation programmes: Youth or Adult, which focused on the development of local projects and workers, and GAP, a programme supporting the work and development of younger volunteers who had a ‘gap’ in their lives.

Over time the department has continued to offer courses which provide career opportunities for anyone working with children, young people, families, and communities, more recently branching out into apprenticeships and Housing Studies. At the heart of these programmes has always been a commitment to reflective practice.

In looking back on all that has been achieved we start to get a sense of the impact and reach the FE department has had. Since its beginning the FE department has trained and supported the professional development of nearly 4000 students studying courses at level 1 to 3.

Sadly, the College has begun to develop and implement a plan that leads to the phased closure of College activities, and the first part of this phased closure will be the Further Education Department which will close at the end of August 2020. The decision to implement this closure was not taken lightly and continuing in the spirit of communication and collaboration fostered by all at the College over the last 50 years throughout this process of winding down is important to all involved.

The College would like to express its thanks to all the students, tutors, academic staff, supervisors, administrators and practice placements who’s continued hard work and dedication has allowed the department’s contributions to be of the exceptional standard they have been since its formation.

If you have any questions please contact Valeria Milillo, fecoordinator@ymca.ac.uk or Simon Frost, s.frost@ymca.ac.uk It is important to the College that we maintain good communication to enable as positive as possible end to this phase of the College’s history.