BTP - Contacts and Final Words

Sheila retired and, sadly, Jodi later resigned in 2022; this completed the initial journey of Beyond The Page and the United Mothers project.
The work continues under new directorship, branching out in new ways and engaging new members.
You can find out more about these latest developments here:

If you would like to discuss or ask questions about anything you have found here, you can find Sheila at:
and Jodi at:

We will be happy to help if we can.

All those whose images are reproduced here have given their informed
and written consent for them to be used for training and research purposes.

Thanks to all those who contributed photos here: Mark Perry, Sarah Christie, Graham Sykes, Steven Daly and Jodi Watson.

We’d like to reiterate our deep and heartfelt thanks to the many folk who helped us along the way: dear friends who propped us up when the going got very tough and cheered us on in our successes; volunteer advisers, directors, sessional and other volunteers who have been the backbone to creating this community; funders who believed in our vision; community partners who shared our learning.

Most of all, we say thank you to the wonderful women of United Mothers who trusted us to offer them a different way of learning and creating community. We received so much in gifts of sharing, laughter and deep connection.

Jodi: I love this work we have created together and I have learned so much through this work; about the world around me, its people and myself.

I love the magical, precious, intangible moments of alchemy that happen through the work, when the scaffolding is right and people feel valued.

I love that all our quotes, feedback and statistics are real, not fabricated in any way to make us sound better than we are.
I like that we are as fantastic as we can be.

There are three things I believe are important and integral to the success of Beyond The Page and the United Mothers project. Three things that give value beyond measure and stand us up tall and unique in the UM national ESOL provision as an example of how and when participatory ESOL can work well:

  1. Women supporting women- the feminist argument for advocating safe spaces for women, where we can discuss our rights and challenge our roles as women, and nurture our emotional energy and intellectual needs as women when living in a world dominated by masculine energy.
  2. Informal and fun learning – most people learn better when our fundamental needs are being met, when we can relax and enjoy the learning and particularly when we aren’t being tested all the time. We are renowned for our high quality ESOL teaching in a community setting.
  3. Attention to the detail of things – keeping in tune with the little things that make a huge difference. Making time to touch down and slow down, in a fast world of outputs and targets.

Sheila: Imagine a space where you can stop and breathe, take your time. You own this space – you arrive, you belong. You are listened to; your presence is valued. You share learning. You listen to others. Your journey is not one-directional or one-dimensional.

Imagine a loop, a figure of eight – a model of integration I think – we all hop on, join in, share the journey, move on, come back in. This is not about us and them. This is about our community that we build together.

Building Bridges