Friends Centre Celebrates 70 Years Of Helping Adults With Education

Brighton-based Friends Centre Caroline Lucas at Friends centre - stellapix– the city’s only dedicated centre for Adult and Community Learning – recently hosted a celebration event to mark seven decades of working for learners in the city and a ‘good’ recent Ofsted report on 21st April 2017.

Guests in attendance included former founding members, employees, volunteers and learners. We were also honoured to have in attendance our special guests; Caroline Lucas MP and previous Principal of Friends Centre, Professor Alan Tuckett.

Professor Tuckett opened our celebrations with reminiscences of Friends Centre’s history including guest visits from Ian McEwan and Alan Ginsberg, and an all week 24 hour – 130 hour- ‘teach in’ to protest council cuts to adult education. Caroline Lucas gave a speech on the importance of Adult Education to close our celebrations and held a question and answer session with guests afterwards.

This celebration coincides with the election of Professor Tuckett as the new President of Friends Centre and also our recent Ofsted result, which has been particularly heartening for an organisation that first opened its doors to adult learners in 1945. Originally based in the Friends Meeting House in Brighton’s Lanes, Friends Centre has always welcomed not only Brighton residents but newcomers to the city, including refugees, veterans and others far from home. The parallels with the present are still very clear.

Now based in the One Brighton building near Brighton Station, Friends Centre continues to support new people moving into the city – including a current group of refugees from Syria. For them and a wide range of other adult learners, Ofsted has recognised our high quality teaching and learning to help learners, often challenged in some way, to develop their knowledge, basic skills, language, understanding and creativity.

For more information about this event or to find out more about Friends Centre’s current work in Brighton & Hove, please contact centre manager EJ Birtwell: or 01273 810210