New year, new courses for Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough adult learners
From paintings, politics and Poirot to country houses, cookery to creative writing, an adult education charity is offering courses at knock-down prices.
Workers Education Association (WEA) Northamptonshire provide courses to all adults regardless of previous knowledge or qualifications - the only requirement is a willingness to learn.
Rachel Crofts, education coordinator for WEA, who organises course tutors for the members, said: "The majority of the tutors are university lecturers. They are subject leaders and experts and are passionate about their subject.
"Sadly university is not an opportunity for all of us especially as you get older, there are other calls on your time. But many people can get an hour or two to study.
"If you were to get the same level of study it would cost hundreds of pounds. Our courses are heavily discounted."
Subjects to be studied are chosen and voted on by the 'volunteers' - people who take part in WEA courses associated to a branch, based in a town or village.
Joining a branch is completely free and people do not have to attend every meeting.
After discussions and a vote, the volunteers' choices are taken to the education coordinator who finds tutors to cover the subjects.
Northamptonshire has 15 branches including Corby, Brigstock, Barton Seagrave near Kettering, Wellingborough, and Rothwell. Oundle is covered by Cambridgeshire.
Courses available starting in 2020 cover some of the most asked for subjects: art history, detective fiction, country houses, local history, mindfulness and climate change.
Included this term will be 'Behind the scenes at a country house' to be held in Corby; 'Mindfulness' and 'Detective fiction' in Kettering; 'Great painting in times of massive social upheavals' in Wellingborough, as well as 'Behind the iron curtain', studying Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union from 1945 to 1989, available in Brigstock.
Mrs Crofts said: "It's all done for the enjoyment of learning. We are not intending to compete with colleges.
"The cost works out at £4 per person per hour and those from a low income household can apply to the Discretionary Learning Fund for a grant.
"We also offer targeted provision, invitation-only courses with other charitable organisations to deliver specific courses for people such as ex-offenders.
"We're here, present and active. Now is a great time to have a look at what's on offer. We're about delivering education for the community, in the community."