If you live in Whanganui and would like to draw with confidence, become a better writer, learn to use woodwork tools, play a ukulele, the bagpipes or sing with a group, Community Education is offering all of these courses and many more in term 4.

CES manager Sian MacGibbon said term 3 classes have been well attended and the bee keeping and music classes have been especially popular.

Despite funding cuts and government policy changes that have seen community education services in other cities shut down, the Whanganui service continues to offer plenty of options.

After the loss of $20,000 annual funding from the Tertiary Education Commission, the service received a $15,000 grant from Whanganui District Council and other funding streams are still being investigated.


An open evening in July brought 90 people along to show support and there were a number of new enrolments as well.

"Whanganui has people with great skills to share and it has been good to offer such a variety of courses," said Ms MacGibbon.

"It is the busiest time of year for bee keepers so we won't be offering those courses in term 4 but we've got some other great new courses coming up."

For craft lovers, there are fabric doll classes, dry point print making, textile painting, sewing and upcycling and for those interested in learning felt making, there is opportunity to spend a day at the Flying Fox Retreat with morning tea and lunch included in the cost.

There is also a weekend workshop next month for anyone who would like to design and make their own piece of silver jewellery.

There are language learning opportunities for Chinese (including culture and etiquette), French (intermediate and advanced) and there will be both beginners and conversational Spanish classes.

For foodies there will be Finger Food with Flair - making canapes and petit fours and there will be specialty courses on meditation, non-verbal communication and a series of evening bush walks with emphasis on appreciation and naming native flora and fauna.

Other courses planned are glass blowing, Christmas crafts and cards, Oamaru stone carving and how to get the best from your smart phone.

"A lot of people have smart phones now and they are probably like me and don't use half the functions," said Ms MacGibbon.

Course details are available on the CES website wanganuices.org.nz or phone 06 345 4717.