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Historic Leeds Education Centre appeals for funds to save roof

Swarthmore Education Centre the Leeds based educational charity is appealing for donations to save its roof which is in a severe state of disrepair. The 103 year old institution, founded in 1909 is a recognised leader in its field of adult education and its excellence in providing quality teaching and learning is highly respected nationwide.

The property which is a grade 2 listed building has been severely water damaged as a result of the leaking roof which is threatening the operation of the college and has already caused considerable disruption to teaching. The estimated cost of the repair totals £150,000; a figure which needs to be met through fundraising efforts.

Maggi Butterworth, Director of Swarthmore Education Centre commented; “Swarthmore has been an exceptional and unique learning facility for more than one hundred years. Our commitment to adult education and our policy of inclusion makes us unlike many other educational centres.

“We and our predecessors have seen thousands of learners pass through the doors of Swarthmore and in many cases it really does change lives. The strength of feeling about the centre’s worth to the community exhibited by past and present learners speaks volumes about the facility.”

Swarthmore’s main aim and most unique characteristic is to help people learn who have not or do not feel comfortable in more formal educational institutions. More than 2000 students enrol each year for one of the courses which range from start-up courses in the Arts, IT, Maths and English  through to more advanced leisure courses and CPCAB qualifications in Counselling and Personal Development.

Rt. Hon Hilary Benn MP for Leeds Central commented; “I offer my full support to Swarthmore’s funding appeal for a new roof. During my long association with Swarthmore I have always been terrifically impressed by the work that they do in support of the local community. At the very least they’re entitled to have a roof that does the business in support of the work.”

In 2010 one of Swarthmore’s adult learners Sayra Wigglesworth won the highly acclaimed Adult Learner of the Year award for Yorkshire and Humberside. Countless others have also had their lives transformed through the confidence and skills they have achieved from their time at Swarthmore Education Centre. 59 year old Sharon Benson, an existing adult learner has had her life transformed following a Confidence and Self Esteem Course which saw her overcome such an extreme stammer that her life until she attended the course had almost been almost mute.

Maggi continued “As an educational establishment we have seen our funding cut whilst our student figures have remained consistently high, consequently we are already under fiscal pressure.

“We are committed to continuing our exceptional work and helping people such as Sayra and Sharon turn their lives around; this is why we are appealing to the local business community and the public for donations and support towards our Raise the Roof campaign.”

To send a ten pound donation to Swarthmore text ROOF09 10 to 70070 or send your donation to Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square Leeds, Yorkshire LS3 1AD. You can also raise money for Swarthmore every time you shop in hundreds of stores by registering with Give as you Live http://www.giveasyoulive.com/