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?
Please think about helping us in one or more of the following ways:
- Make a single donation or set up a regular payment via PayPal using the button below (You will be redirected to Paypal.com) Make a donation to Woodbrooke
- When you book a course, add a donation with your booking form
- Ask your meeting to consider making a ‘top-up’ donation when they send someone on a course
- Think about future Woodbrooke beneficiaries through a legacy
- Ask your meeting to provide Woodbrooke a grant or a loan interest loan.
- If you require more information or need help arranging a donation please contact us
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.
What difference does Woodbrooke make?
Over the years we’ve seen the transforming effect Woodbrooke learning can have on individuals and communities. Hundreds of people experience Woodbrooke learning every month; equipping themselves to serve in Quaker roles, finding a retreat in our beautiful grounds, nurturing their spiritual and creative side, connecting with Quaker history and theology, being inspired to make a change in the world.
Woodbrooke is the major provider of Quaker learning across Europe. Our Centre for Research in Quaker Studies is a leading global institution for Quaker research. We’ve seen Eva Koch scholarships and Swarthmore Lectures have a lasting impact on the thinking of the Society of Friends.
Woodbrooke is currently providing hundreds of people with a space for online worship during this pandemic as well as supporting groups of Friends to start their own meetings. Our online learning connects Quakers together in remarkable ways; sharing learning from Quakers in East Africa with European Friends, gathering together Quakers scattered across Europe on virtual retreats and bringing Quaker history alive to people around the world.
We see our commercial activity as part of our ministry. Thousands use the beautiful site every year, taking advantage of our Quaker welcome and atmosphere. Groups return year after year to create a space to; retreat, challenge, support and reflect in a way that they tell us are special when they are here. Our garden tours and open days have allowed us to open up the community, and prior to its cancellation, we were excited to host the Bournville Bookfest in the summer on our site.
Woodbrooke’s aim is to foster the vital ministry of Quakers. We have been doing this since 1903. We aren’t appealing for funds because we believe we should be preserved as a piece of Quaker history but because we still believe in that we can fulfil our mission, that we are fostering the vital ministry of Quakers today. If you believe that too and can help in any way, now is the time to support Woodbrooke.