If there’s one thing in the last 18 months we have had to continuously respond to, it’s change. It’s something we know a thing or two about, given the name of our charity, so it would be ironic if it was something we weren’t well-equipped for.

The now infamous 2020 saw us pivot and have to adapt to entirely new circumstances. We launched a podcast that we continued well into 2021 – our first response to the challenge of reaching people online – that included a weekly discussion space for listeners to carry on the conversation featured in each episode, and flex their critical thinking muscles. Attended by former graduates as a way of staying connected to continuing their learning, we were able to attract some new faces who later attended our main courses, having had their appetites whet through the podcast. They became an important space for people to connect to others and engage with something meatier than the various online quizzes and social groups that were available to them.

As on our courses, we covered a broad range of inter-connected topics on our podcast. These were all connected in some way to the central core of our work –increasing personal resilience through developing more accurate and compassionate understandings of life experiences. We explored some familiar topics such as grief and loss (in our first episode that launched in May 2020, aimed at helping people process the sense of grief and loss being experienced in relation to the unexpected changes brought by Covid) and introduced some new topics in 2021, such as our mini-series on systemic thinking, which we now teach on our Psychology for Change course. Having recorded 28 episodes and deciding to bunch them all together into our very own Season 1, we are taking a pause and plan to being recording Season 2 next year.

All intakes on our Psychology for Change (PfC) and Feminism for Change (FemfC) courses were delivered online in 2021. Admittedly sceptical about how effective online groups would be in relation to the real thing, it’s pretty fair to say that we’ve all been surprised and moved by the feedback we’ve had from our graduates. People felt hugely grateful for something that helped structure their weeks, was both intellectually and emotionally stimulating and connected them to others. They appreciated the ease of access the online format provided and the convenience in relation to childcare. We are aiming to begin offering in-person courses from spring 2022 (conditions permitting) and, due to the continued success and high completion rates of our online courses, know that we will continue to offer online options to increase the accessibility of our work. 

We’ll finish this newsletter and this year with a few thank yous. Firstly to FfC co-founder Liz Naylor, who decided to leave FfC to explore new pastures after 7 years of imparting her experience, wisdom and sense of humour into the organisation. We also said goodbye to Tonya Connor, who was the lead facilitator on our Feminism for Change and through her undying commitment to equality, brought feminism to the lives of women who often needed it the most but were often the furthest away from coming into contact with it.

Thank you to Masterclass, for gifting us free annual memberships which we offer to graduates of our courses to support them in continuing their learning (we point them in the direction of classes on feminism and critical thinking as a starting point) and broadening their horizons. And finally, a couple of major thank yous to Oak Foundation and Henry Smith, who have both doubled their funding offers and committed to a further three years support starting January 2022 to help us create the change we want to see in the world.

On this final note, and with a huge sense of excitement for our future, we are happy to say that we are growing both our staff team (made possible as a result of the funding above) and our board of trustees. Please visit our vacancies page for more information and share it with people you think could benefit – and benefit from – being part of Foundation for Change.

We wish you all a restful and rejuvenating break and a positive 2022,

The Foundation for Change Team