As members of Central England Quakers, we have been asked to consider personally helping Woodbrooke (the National Quaker Study Centre, which is in our geographical area) during this difficult time. Individual Friends in our area have asked for this appeal to be shared amongst our meetings:
Woodbrooke’s ability to generate income has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak and we are concerned about the long-term impact on Woodbrooke. All of our commercial and on-site courses are currently suspended and as a charity, we aren’t eligible for the majority of the current government support. We would welcome any contributions via donations, grants or low-interest loans. If you can help in any way please get in contact.
How can you help?
Why does Woodbrooke need help?
Our dream is to make Woodbrooke learning freely available to all, we don’t yet live in that world. In this world, even prior to Covid-19 we had to charge for our learning. We’ve now cancelled all of our onsite and on-the-road learning programme for the foreseeable future. This means the cost of the developing and delivering the programme, and employing our staff team hasn’t been covered and we have very limited ways to recoup these costs.
We have always subsidised our learning in order to make it as accessible as possible. Due to Covid-19 all of the commercial income that has provided a large part of that subsidy has disappeared. The impact of this is compounded by the fact that many of the costs for the upkeep of Woodbrooke have not disappeared and they represent a significant monthly financial outlay. We are continuing to explore the financial support on offer from the government but have thus far found that Woodbrooke is not able to apply for most of the schemes for various reasons.
We are moving more courses online and developing new ones but, as with all our learning, the costs of these are heavily subsidised in order to make them accessible to as many Friends as possible.
We do not receive financial support from Britain Yearly Meeting to run the Woodbrooke site or provide learning. BYM commissions us a provider for specific projects such as EAPPI training and the new Climate Crisis project, for which money is ring-fenced to deliver this work on BYM’s behalf.
We are deeply grateful for those trusts, meetings and individuals who are already supporting Woodbrooke. We believe that Woodbrooke has something unique and important to offer the world. We want to be able to continue to offer our online learning and worship, and reopen our centre in Birmingham after the Covid-19 lock-down ends. Without extra support over the coming weeks and months, we might not be in a position to do that.
As Central England Quakers we understand that many Quaker charities, projects and good causes may be struggling at this time. If you have details of how Friends can support Quaker projects, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org