In November 2019 Fircroft College piloted a FREE 10 week Free Thinking adult residential programme (weekends only) for survivors of trauma, modern slavery and trafficking, providing a safe place to learn, grow and progress.  The programme was so successful we are delivering two more - one in January 2021 and one in April 2021.  Take a look at the video below to find out what our students thought of the programme.  Picture shows Mel Lenehan, Principal and Chief Executive Officer, Fircroft College, with Regina, a Free Thinking student.  The Free Thinking programme is funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Getting back into mainstream education and employment after suffering from trauma, torture or trafficking can feel unachievable. But learning and working in the right environment are good ways for refugees and asylum seekers to escape depression and rebuild their lives. 

We offer:

  • An immersive residential learning experience
  • Student support; we aim to make people feel valued and offer opportunities for practical learning
  • Experienced support staff to provide pastoral care
  • Peer support from smaller classroom sizes to improve outcomes and build on social capital
  • Opportunities for integration as we're a mainstream college with a diverse student body
  • Information, Advice and Guidance on identifying strengths, career aspirations and skills

Our commitment to our community is simple - we believe that learning changes lives.
Dates and Times

25th January 2021 – 31st March 2021

There will be a one week break during February half term (15th – 19th February 2021)


19th April 2021 – 23rd June 2021


Residential – weekly (3 days, 2 nights)

Monday to Wednesday – arrive at the college at 9.00am every Monday

Class times

Monday and Tuesday:

10.00 am – 12.00 pm

1.00 pm – 3.00 pm

3.30 pm – 5.00 pm


10.00 am – 12.00 pm

1.00 pm – 3.00 pm

Learning Outcomes

The programme includes:

  • Personal and Social Development
  • Employment Rights
  • Functional Maths, English and IT Skills
  • Problem Solving
  • Teamwork
  • Presentation and Communication Skills
Entry Requirements

A certificate of Level 1 English is to be provided on application or if you are unable to produce a certificate, you can take an entry test to have your level of English assessed.

A certificate of Entry Level 3 maths is to be provided on application or if you are unable to produce a certificate, you can take an entry test to have your level of maths assessed.

Progression Following the completion of this course, students will be welcome to apply for other courses at Fircroft College

Who can study with us?

Learners will need to be eligible under Adult Education funding rules, have refugee status, leave to remain or have been in the country for more than 6 months as an asylum seeker.  This course is funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority and is available to people living in a range of locations within the West Midlands.  To find out about eligibility contact the Admissions team on 0121 472 0116 or email [email protected]

Read more about our student's journeys after completing this course here.