In 2006 I was very impressed by a newspaper article about the work done at the Stirling School of English. I visited as a retired teacher, was made most welcome, and became a tutor the following week. I remained as a volunteer tutor for the next 14 years. I witnessed many successful transformations and adaptations according to circumstances. We even moved from the former, dilapidated, military barracks, known as the Rock Centre, to our present location in the centre of town. This relocation was charitably facilitated by The Baptist Church who own the premises. They support our core values.
Recently, and most notably, Brexit would lead to the loss of our European and au pair students. Covid followed in its wake with restrictions on movement and gatherings. Once more the SSE responded and evolved to create online courses and social events too. Our students were wonderful in their cooperation, adaptability and enthusiasm. The SSE survived in a new format! I did not tutor online but I received Trustee training and became a member of the Board of Management. I continue in that position.
In fact the language school thrived when Covid restrictions were lifted. We now deliver courses in a variety of formats, using both in person and online classes. Having had experience in working with refugees from countries in crisis in Africa and Syria we were in a good position to offer our services to students from Ukraine and other war torn regions of the world. Our core student base was radically altered. Again we have adapted.
Our Board members have worked hard to obtain financial backing and support for our activities and expenses. Our tutors have strived for continuous professional development. Most importantly we have a body of loyal, committed and appreciative students. This is what makes our voluntary work so rewarding. These “stories” are testimony to that.