Brian Allen was unemployed and had been advised by his local Job Centre Plus to attend the free, drop-in sessions that were available at his local library through Communities 2.0. He thought that attending computer classes would help him to find work, as he had little knowledge of sending e-mails, including the use of attachments which can be used to send a CV.
Christine Margerum was a complete beginner with no IT skills. She started informal taster sessions in the library and progressed onto LearnDirect , on-line learning classes. From learning in the library, she started a new hobby of tracing her family history on-line.
Eileen Best, 84, started her learning journey with taster sessions at her local library in Blaina. She enrolled with ‘The E-nable’ project, where she attended weekly internet sessions. Mrs Best’s husband bought her a laptop, but sadly he passed away shortly after. Despite this, Mrs Best was very keen to put the laptop to good use, in memory of her husband and joined the class at Blaina Library.
"I initially approached Gethin and Mike of the ‘Get Blaenau Gwent On-Line’ team to help with my business IT requirements. I had very little knowledge of IT and they showed me how to navigate the internet more productively, set-up a Facebook business account, an eBay account and purchase a licence from the Environment Agency. Both Gethin and Mike have been particularly good in tailoring their teaching methods to suit my dyslexic needs."
Mark Jones is a 47 year old unemployed gentleman from Ebbw Vale who was referred to the Digital Inclusion Team via Ebbw Vale Job Centre. Mark had never used a computer before and was very stressed that he had no choice but to use computers to support his lively hood.
"I was getting worried that I would be affected with Universal Credit being just around the corner and myself having no experience using computers. I heard about the digital inclusion project from a friend who had seen the ‘Get Blaenau Gwent Online’ website. I booked some computer sessions and I am now over the moon with the progress I have made and feel prepared for when Universal Credit is up and running."
Sharon was keen to take up this opportunity to learn as she realised how important having ICT skills were to everyday life. Although Sharon had no experience of using computers, she persevered and is now able to begin to enjoy the benefits that using technology can bring. Sharon was nominated and won a NIACE Dysgu Cymru – Inspire Learner Award in recognition of her desire and motivation to learn and to help others.