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Home > ESU branches in England and Wales

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A group of primary school pupils (a boy and three girls) sitting around a table and playing debating games for students

The English-Speaking Union was founded as a membership organisation, bringing together those who share a belief that better communication makes for better global understanding. Today, we have over 5,000 members in 36 regional branches across England and Wales who meet to socialise, gain new perspectives on the world and to help organise and raise funds for our educational work.

We are hugely grateful to our branches, which are central to the running of our Public Speaking and Performing Shakespeare competitions. Some also run their own, complementary, oracy programmes and many choose to sponsor local schools to take part in our Discover Debating programme or Discover Your Voice workshops.

To find out more about your local branch, please select the city/region nearest to you from the filter above.

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Branch events across the country

SOUTH WALES BRANCH: CHRISTMAS AT HOWELL'S

South Wales

Christmas celebrations hosted at Howell’s School, with food and drinks provided by the very well-regarded Epic Caterers. Dinner will be hosted in the Great Hall at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 13 December. Tables of 8 people, with flexibility for parties up to 10, guests of members welcome. There is plenty of…

London Branch: Book Club

London

The ESU London Branch Members’ book club meets once a month at Dartmouth House to exchange views on a book chosen by the group. Discussions take place from 11.00-12.30hrs on the third Wednesday of each month. If you would like to join our friendly and informal club please contact Kathleen…

Salisbury branch: 'Character and Conflict' by Peter Power

Salisbury & Wiltshire

Peter will continue his interesting talk about the courageous agents of the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War. He will take it to the next stage by closely looking at some of the characters and conflicts in greater detail. The talk will cover SOE triumphs as well as…

London Branch: Book Club

London

The ESU London Branch Members’ book club meets once a month at Dartmouth House to exchange views on a book chosen by the group. Discussions take place from 11.00-12.30hrs on the third Wednesday of each month. If you would like to join our friendly and informal club please contact Kathleen…

Salisbury branch: 'Patronage & Taste: The History of the Royal Collection' by Nicola Turner Inman

Salisbury & Wiltshire

Photograph: Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2022 Nicola Turner Inman, Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts (Projects) at the Royal Collection Trust will take you on a tour of one of the greatest art collections in the world and the last great European dynastic collection still…

Ouse Valley Branch: 'The Kursk Russian Submarine Rescue' by Sir David Russell

Bedfordshire & Milton Keynes

Sir David was the Chief Executive of the Harpur Trust from 2002 – 2019 and was the first Commanding Officer of HMS Vanguard, the UK’s lead Trident submarine. On Saturday 21 August 2000, the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk suffered two enormous explosions and sank to the bottom of the Barents…

ESU Members and Alumni Dinner at the House of Commons

English-Speaking Union

Join us in celebration and support of our international exchange programmes with a very special members and alumni dinner at the House of Commons. Speaker to be confirmed. Members, £200; guests, £250; under 35s, £125. This event is part of the English-Speaking Union’s programme of celebrating global understanding through dialogue…

Salisbury branch: 'The Lord Leycester Hospital' by Dr Heidi Meyer

Salisbury & Wiltshire

The half-timbered buildings of the Lord Leycester Hospital are some of the most important medieval buildings in Britain. Constructed by Warwick’s Guilds between 1385 and 1420 the Guildsmen used the grand rooms for banquets and meetings. In the reign of Elizabeth 1, her friend Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester acquired…

Ouse Valley Branch: 'The Sharnbrook Mill Theatre: Past and Future' by Douglas and Ginny Pope

Bedfordshire & Milton Keynes

The Mill Theatre has been ever-present in Douglas and Ginny’s lives for 52 years and both have supported the theatre in a number of ways, including acting in a number of productions. Douglas has just retired as Chair of Governors of this unique riverside theatre which is run and maintained…

SAVE THE DATE: ESU Schools' Mace finals day

ESU Regional Event

Save the date for the finals day of the ESU Schools’ Mace, the oldest and largest debating competition for schools. Over 300 schools compete in the Schools’ Mace each year, but only twelve teams reach the finals day at Dartmouth House. Just two teams will make it to the grand…

ESU-Churchill Public Speaking Competition Grand Finals 2023

English-Speaking Union

The prestigious ESU-Churchill Public Speaking Competition, sponsored by the International Churchill Society, is the largest such contest in England and Wales, with around 400 teams (each comprising a speaker, questioner and a chairperson). The different roles allow students to practice and excel in different skill sets, and the competition’s unique…

ESU International Public Speaking Competition 2023

ESU Regional Event

The ESU International Public Speaking Competition (IPSC) is the world’s largest competition of its kind. Bringing together participants, aged 16-20, from over 50 countries for a week of cultural exchange and competition, the IPSC is one of the ESU’s flagship programmes. The Grand Final on Friday, 12…

Salisbury Branch: ‘The Women of the Raj’ by Brian Freeland

Salisbury & Wiltshire

‘The Women of the Raj’ by Brian Freeland Brian Freeland has written a dozen stage scripts (nine produced so far, four of them published). Following comments that he didn’t write many good roles for ladies, he staged a piece about the British women in India during the second half of…

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