What does The Second Half Centre mean to you?

“My 4th term at the Second Half Centre is coming to an end. All terms have enriched my life, but the present one has topped them all. Every session of the course on world religions brought new insights into this subject where my knowledge had been sketchy at best. Without prejudice Cristina brought each of the main world religions to life, not only in theory, but also with personal contributions from some of us participants and fascinating visits to temple, church and museum. As before Kevin’s presentations on 19th century art, augmented by pictures, music, humour, as well as diverse museum visits, were a joy to experience. During creative writing Suzanne tactfully encouraged us to explore new ways of description and to “think out of the box” with often surprising results. Sincere thanks, dear Team, for your dedicated work of managing these valuable learning experiences. My thanks of course includes Jill, the founder and enabler.” Ines Metcalfe

“What is different about The Second Half Centre is not only the first-rate quality and high professional level of its inspirational workshops, but the gap that it fills which other ‘elderly’ service providers don’t. SHC caters for today’s active, lively and intellectually curious over-50s who can demonstrate that they are very much able to continue contributing to society. Unlike its other counterparts, the lectures, workshops and classes it offers are neither patronising nor dumbed-down and this is how it succeeds in making its members feel that they are definitely not ‘on the shelf or ‘past it!” Sue Wolk

“What is fascinating is that the Second Half Centre amazingly gathers people from completely different walks of life which makes discussions or devising incredibly diverse, surprising and often wonderful.” Solvene Tiffou

“None of us at The Second Half Centre are strangers, just friends about to be introduced.” James

“The teachers are enthusiastic, fun and explain everything so clearly and simply. The classes are relaxed, sociable, and very friendly. It has been great venturing from South East London and engaging with people form a different area.” Jenny

“The Centre provides a unique affordable way of meeting interesting people and keeping my brain active. I would recommend it to anyone.” Elwyn

“Marvellous that I’m learning new skills. The teachers are super and well-organised. The coffee and lunch facilities are an extra bonus!” Marian

“Great teaching. Great food. Great company.” Norman

Very impressed with how well The Second Half Centre is organised, plus the variety and quality of what is on offer. All that hard work is now paying off for so many. Thanks!” Tony

“Classes excellent, teachers excellent too! Well done, I want more of the same! Very glad I came, will continue to do so. I’ll pass the word around – not to be missed!” Edris

IT and Life Coaching

“The work at the back-to-work sessions has helped me get my business off the ground and for that I am so grateful to you and the Second Half Centre.” Minh Tam- Janssens

“I came to the Retooling for Life class at the Centre two months ago and have since been receiving guidance from a selection of highly skilled and well-connected experts from various recruitment areas. The variety of tutors offered unique, helpful and practical advice and helped me re-enter the job market with confidence. They assisted me in writing my CV, biography, personal sales pitch and provided mock interviews – in short, all the necessary tools needed to get a job. They have also introduced me to some very helpful contacts. I have gained the confidence and skills that will be transferrable to other areas of my life.” Minh-Tam

“An excellent place, well-run and where I’ve make new friends. The classes are just what I need to build my confidence again. The Centre has helped to reach my potential.” Vicky

“The IT teacher is very good at explaining things clearly. It is exactly what I need and may it continue! I look forward to the rest of the course.” Hubert

“I took the Retooling for Work class and it changed my life. Actually more than that, this Centre gives you the confidence and the chance to be something more. The art class taught by Derek Ogbourne on Wednesday is one of the best classes I have taken anywhere. It’s really amazing here.” Avril

“The class teacher is so patient and encouraging. I have enjoyed making new friends and developing new skills.” Douglas

Garden Design and Practical Gardening

“I came to the class knowing nothing about gardening but David Lewis explained everything so carefully and in such detail that I feel confident to plant my own flowers at home! We have been doing all the design stages and I look forward to doing the actual practical planting in the beautiful SHC garden!” Isabella

International Cooking Classes

“Coming here, I have found not only fun people to talk with but also new skills in the art of cooking!” Paulo

Exercise Your Body

“I feel so very lucky to have access to such an amazing centre. Thank you everyone involved for all your hard work! My first class was with Lynne doing Yoga. At the beginning of the class I had never heard of this particular type of Yoga, now I hope it will become a regular part of my life. Lynne was excellent; she immediately understood my weaknesses and worked on them.” Denise

“Beautiful centre – fresh, clean, very friendly and helpful staff. Great yoga class, especially for the older person.” Rose

The Arts

“I started going to the Drama and Theatre Club at the beginning of this term, and I am finding it to be both huge fun and inspirational. In class, I really enjoy reading scripts and improvising with other class members, and then there is the added excitement of going to see great West End theatre, after these visits, we discuss the plays in class, which adds to my enjoyment and insight. Solvene Tiffous, who runs this class, is a very sympathetic and inspiring teacher. I would happily recommend this class to anyone – no need to feel shy, it is all very friendly.” Alice

“The teaching methods in the art classes are very good and great fun. Derek takes the time to explain art concepts; he is relaxed yet structured. The class is friendly, a good laugh and conversation spans a range of subjects. For me it is a time to relax and forget my problems.” Anne-Marie

“Wednesday’s art class is an inspiration to me. Derek is amazing and I’ve learnt things about art and colour that I never did at school.” Catherine

“Really love the art on a Wednesday, especially learning how to get all the different colours from the three primary shades.” Elizabeth

“My first time today and I was so excited to be doing something for me, me, me! As a carer for my mother, I get little time for myself – until now that is. SHC is the impetus for me to put myself first!” Olivia

Brain Fitness

“My New Year’s resolution for 2013 was to try something new! Information on the SHC arrived just at the right time and I took the plunge. The place is not only spanking new, friendly and welcoming, but the activities also offer a wide choice. The course for me “History of Visual Culture” takes us around Europe to see beautiful places and exquisite objects. Dr Kevin Childs shares with us some of his in-depth knowledge of the subject, giving us a better understanding of visual characteristic, important milestones and historical background of each period. A group visit to the V&A brought this to life even more. Now I am looking forward to more gallery visits!” Ines

“These lectures are really life enhancing. You may arrive knowing nothing about the subject of the day, but when you leave you are not only the wiser but instilled with the wish to learn a whole lot more for oneself. Plus, Dr Kevin Childs has a lovely light touch, so it is fun along the way. He not only knows the history of what has gone before each work what is going to happen next. He also shows the links and lateral events that shaped and influenced the history of our Arts all around the globe. The level of learning and appreciation is so high that if all of us had been given this perspective in the first half of our lives, we would live in a happier and wiser world! Dr Kevin Childs is wonderful.” From his latest groupie, Linda

“Anyone who misses Dr Child’s Visual History of Art class is missing a feast of cultural knowledge, seamlessly guiding through an inspiring History of Art. We started unearthing the past via ideas of grotti, fresco, Egyptian aestheticism, Cretan…through Greece, Rome, even Northern India – lost in our own consumption of exquisite culture, really with exceptional knowledge, engagement and enthusiasm. I didn’t want the class to end!” Sarah