Higham is a residential college for lifelong learning and creative endeavour in a quiet corner of the English Lake District.

We employ 33 permanent members of staff and around 60 freelance tutors. Last year, we welcomed over 3,000 students on 333 courses and cooked 22,900 meals.

We are a charity, owned by the community for the community.

The building was purchased by a small group of supporters from Cumbria County Council in 2007 and an educational trust created to run the college. We exist to protect and preserve not only this beautiful historic place but also the experience of being here – from the warm welcome and sense of community to the courses offered – providing a safe and supportive environment to relax and be inspired, challenged, or explore new things.

We do not receive any grant funding.

The impact of COVID and the cost-of-living crisis has left Higham and many of our students facing a harsh new financial reality.

It costs just under £3,500 per day to run Higham. We do not make a profit; every bit of our income goes back into our running costs. We have no choice but to raise our prices to meet these costs although we are well aware of the impact this could have on some of our students. We are already seeing increased applications for bursaries and assisted places, but we depend on donations to fund these schemes.

We are also the custodians of a 200-year-old, listed building that is beginning to feel its age. We are facing huge costs to repair and maintain features such as the lead roofs on our turrets, our windows and even the original guttering. We would like to be able to improve the plumbing and electrics so that all rooms have reliable showers. We know many of you struggle with the stairs and hope one day to be able to install a lift between the ground and first floors. We cannot meet these costs through earned income alone.

Please consider donating to Higham today.

"Without the generosity of Higham's bursary scheme I would neither have visited the Lakes, nor had this study opportunity - let alone both. I will forever be grateful."

Your donation will help us

– Help us offset the impact of increasing prices on students on low incomes by supporting more bursaries and assisted places on our courses.

– Help us to care for this historic building and leave it in good health for future generations of students.