saha launches its first Discovery College


On Tuesday the 12th May, Commissioner John Matear, saha’s chairman, officially opened saha’s first Discovery College in Braintree, Essex.

The opening was attended by representatives from the local authority, Salvation Army, Foyer Federation and saha R2R panel. Mark Watson, saha’s Open Talent and Development Manager, who proposed the idea of establishing the college at Braintree, showed some films created by students attending the Digital Storytelling sessions. Visitors were also able to listen to recordings from students from the Sound Academy (a very popular course).

A delightful range of refreshments ranging from organic smoothies through to chocolate cakes were provided by Lily Cox, Project Worker and her students attending the “How to Cook” courses.

So, is this just another standard college offering similar courses to students like everyone else? Certainly not! First of all, the college is not just for saha’s current residents, it is open to all members of the community. The college takes an advantaged thinking approach. The approach and courses allow students to build a new sense of self and purpose; and uses this to pursue their aspirations and goals.

The Discovery College currently runs over 50 courses covering a wide range of subjects such as “How to….. Remain healthy on a budget, Write a CV, Make a film, Play a guitar or get fit with Circuit Training or Group cycling”. The college runs three terms a year and plans to replace a third of the courses each term with new ones requested by the community or students.

The college uses staff, residents and volunteer tutors from the community to deliver the courses. Tutors are chosen on the basis of having a passion for their subject. Students, staff and tutors can learn together and students can undertake training to become a Discovery College Tutor. It is hoped that future tutors will also come from local Salvation Army Corps members. Courses can be “one off” sessions or a series – the possibilities are endless.

If you would like to learn more about the college or volunteer to become a tutor please contact Mark Watson on 0800 970 6363 or


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