The Alef Trust — sankalpa supported activity

The Alef Trust


Postgraduate and personal enrichment programmes for students from across the world.

The Alef Trust was founded in 2012 when Les Lancaster, emeritus professor of transpersonal psychology and Jessica Bockler PHD, applied theatre practitioner and transpersonal psychologist created an entirely new postgraduate programme exploring the question:

"What is our inner psychology and how can we grow?"

With a syllabus created in response to the growing need for sustainable and ethical development, Alef students build their intellectual and experiential understanding through the study of science and wisdom from Western and Eastern perspectives in psychology, consciousness and human potential.

Supporting Alef

Keen to widen access to the programme — sankalpa has supported Alef through a combination of advice, signposting and funding.

We initially provided Alef with scholarship funding. The scholarships have meant that students lacking in financial resources, but abundant in promise, have the opportunity to gain a broader understanding of human consciousness and culture.

Later, to grow a sustainable flow of applicants to the programme, we put the team in touch with relevant marketing people and funded the development of a new website. With an improved online presence, applications and enquiries increased by 100%. 

Recognising the need to streamline the organisation and allow Les and Jessica time to focus on strategy and academic operations, we agreed to fund two fixed term administrative posts — a business development manager and an executive assistant. 

Although Alef is no longer reliant on our financial support — we are delighted to continue widening access to their transformative education and community programmes through continued scholarship funding.

The most effective way of being charitable is allowing someone to stand on their own two feet and that is what sankalpa has done for us. It goes beyond the money — we’ve always felt supported; sankalpa understood our values, shared our vision and believed in what could be done.

Les Lancaster, Alef Trust

Alef today

Today the Alef Trust is a financially sustainable enterprise. Les and Jessica now lead a team of 19 people to deliver a range of online academic and personal development programmes to students in over 40 countries. Alef’s postgraduate courses are now validated by Liverpool John Moores University, one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK, and students consistently praise the quality of both the course content and the overall learning experience.

Alef graduates go on to apply their experiences and learning in a range of fields, and in this way bring the transformative perspective into their worlds.

We chose to invest in Alef because we could see that the founders had the vision and ability to do something great, they just needed a helping hand to get there. As Alef grew, our support flexed around the changing needs of their business — supporting them through both coaching and funding to become the sustainable enterprise that they are today.

We are living at a time of seismic shifts taking place in our society, with the values traditionally associated with religion requiring realignment and spiritual questions impinging potently on all walks of life.

sankalpa has enabled us to thrive and become a beacon for transpersonal psychology, building a community of like-minded people from around the world who want to make a difference to their communities, contributing to human flourishing worldwide.

Jessica Bockler, Alef Trust
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