Warm greetings from all at Crossfields Institute. We hope that you and your family are safe and well in this unprecedented time. We have certainly felt the effects of the coronavirus crisis here at Crossfields, but we have also been impressed and heartened by the resilience of our affiliates, centres and learners. Indeed, the crisis appears to have had a galvanising effect in some cases and we are seeing new projects and initiatives emerging.
Before explaining more, I should perhaps begin by announcing that I have now been confirmed by trustees in the role of Executive Director and have taken over the leadership of the Institute. We have chosen to furlough some staff, but the rest of us are still working with energy and commitment, including Charlotte who continues to be director of our subsidiary company, Crossfields Europa. Her heart remains firmly with us as she continues to lead on Consulting and feed into other important Institute-wide projects.
Just to give a flavour of the work we are engaged in:
- Our HE programmes are progressing well with students close to graduating in both Agroecology and Reflective Social Practice.
- Our third cohort of students studying the Philosophy and Practice of Integrative Education are also being supported in their remote learning, with our experience with online learning coming into its own at this time.
- The move towards online is also evident in the Awarding part of the Institute where we are supporting many centres to move their delivery and assessment online while still retaining the essence of a Crossfields educational approach.
So, the message is that we remain very much active and alive! We have been delighted to agree several new collaborations in recent weeks, including the development of a regulated qualification in forest gardening, a commitment to a second year of support for a school and a new long-term contract to advise an international education movement as they bring their inspiring integrative vision to life.
All these projects mean that we are able to continue to operate, but we also want to be able to expand our work and fulfill our charitable objectives. I would like to do more to support other charities in their educational initiatives. One such example is very local to us – a group of Stroud parents and educationalists are working to set up a Homeschool hub which may offer our integrative education qualifications to 14-16 year olds. We are looking at ways to raise funds with them and would welcome any contacts, advice or indeed offers of support in the coming weeks.
After the successful response to our small-scale fundraising appeal in March, I know that there is a desire to support our work. Indeed, I feel that there is an even stronger urge to explore educational alternatives and promote a more sustainable world view at this time. If you would like to support us in this work, either as a one-off or as a monthly donation, then please visit our website and click the ‘donate now’ button. Your donation would help us to spread our educational approach more widely and provide valuable support to other charities.
I very much hope that you are also able to sustain yourselves and your organisation in this time of challenge and opportunity. Do stay in touch with us and let us know if we can be of any assistance in your educational endeavours.
With my best wishes to you all,
Lou Doliczny Bsc QTS