What is a Lifelong Learning Programme?

Our Lifelong Learning Programmes are for learning-disabled and autistic adults. Our specialist staff use creative methods such as art, drama, music, movement and multi-sensory activity to make learning fun and accessible, exploring a wide range of different topics based on a yearly theme.

Our theme for 2023/24 is ‘Thank You!’

You can find out more about what we’ve been up to by following us on Facebook or Instagram, or see what we’re planning here.

Please click here to download our term dates for 2023/24.

Why come to a Purple Patch programme?

They’re educational

We provide access to affordable, meaningful learning opportunities that are fun, exciting and engaging to a wide range of learning-disabled and and autistic people.

They’re inclusive

Our innovative approach means that our highly skilled staff can work with a sense of adventure, adapting to the needs of our participants and creating environments where people can thrive.

They’re life-enhancing

We support participants to express themselves creatively, to develop their confidence, independence, communication and social skills, to improve their mental and physical wellbeing and to challenge themselves and the preconceptions of others.

Useful information

Lifelong Learning Programmes run from 10am – 3pm during term time. The day is broken up into three one-hour sessions, with regular breaks built in to encourage social interaction. Our programmes cost £45 per day and are usually funded through people’s personal budgets. Participants sign up for the academic year, and we have a four-week notice period to allow us to fill a space if anyone leaves us.


Our programmes run in community venues across Yorkshire.

All of our locations are accessible, with some offering changing places toilets.

Please contact us to discuss specific requirements.

Purple map of Yorkshire, showing Skipton, Ilkley, Harrogate, Horsforth, Burley, Bradford, Leeds, Halifax, Doncaster

Monday – Bradford, Leeds

Tuesday – Ilkley, Leeds

Wednesday – Horsforth, Doncaster

Thursday – Burley, Skipton, Leeds

Friday – Harrogate, Halifax, Skipton

How to join

We offer two free taster sessions so that people can find out if Purple Patch is right for them.

If you, or somebody you know, might like to come to Purple Patch then please get in touch. We will work with you to identify access needs, find out a bit about you, and discuss the best programme for you to try.

Frequently asked questions

Here’s some answers to questions that we get asked a lot! If you have any other questions, then please get in touch.

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1. Is your learning accredited?

We don’t offer accredited learning as we believe that everyone should be able to learn at their own pace, in their own way. We create individual portfolios at the end of the year which show people’s progress, and have a celebration event at each programme on the last day of the summer term.


2. How do you choose your theme?

All of our participants and staff vote on the new theme in our programmes and on our residential weekend in July (once we’ve narrowed it down to some sensible options – a year on cats might be a little tricky!)


3. Do you offer bursaries?

We have a limited number of bursary places available for people who aren’t in a position to pay to attend our programmes. We can discuss how to apply for this when you contact us.


4. Do you provide lunch?

We don’t provide lunch; most people bring a packed lunch with them, and some venues have kitchen facilities or cafes that you can use. We do provide hot and cold drinks throughout the day though!


5. Do you provide personal care?

We aren’t able to provide personal care, but you’re very welcome to bring someone with you to support you in any way you need.


6. Do you provide transport?

We don’t provide transport; you’ll need to make your own arrangements for getting to and from our programmes.

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