The centre is open to everyone that needs support but currently, focuses on people who are unemployed. Recent funding of £7.395 from the Park Springs Wind Farm Community Benefits Fund has covered the costs of tutoring and maintaining the service so it can stay open 5 days a week.
IT & Employability Skills Tutor, Rory Garforth said:
“We always have a constant stream of learners coming in and we get referrals from the job centre every day. The type of learners vary in age and situation but I do get a lot of guys coming in, stressed out, in their fifties or older, who have been made redundant or come off long term sick and just don’t know what to do.
“Many of them don’t really know how to use computers. So what I do is arrange each session so the first half is for developing IT skills. The second half is for job searches, applications and whatever else they might need help with. The second half is for job searches, applications and whatever else they might need help with.
“Our IT courses are accredited so they get a qualification out of the sessions which look good on their C.V.s. “So when we get people getting qualified through the courses, it is great. So when we get people getting qualified through the courses, it is great. We give them their certificates and it’s a big thing for a lot of them to be given that certificate. “For them, being recognised as achieving something is a big deal.”
70 people attend the centre each week with 2 to 3 new people joining each week too. The DECV also has a waiting list for its services but does its best to make sure people aren’t waiting long.
“One of the ladies that comes here. She couldn’t leave her house ever since her husband died. Her sister came here and asked whether we could help. So I picked a Friday morning and made sure there wouldn’t be anyone else in. She came in shaking. I thought she was going to collapse to the floor. Yet now, I’ve been working with her for 8 months and she has her entry level IT qualification and working on more now. She still gets nervous but not nearly as bad and now she looks forward to the sessions and hasn’t missed one week.
“There are other things I would like to be able to do here. I would like to go back to running music and photography classes as well, aimed at young people. I would also like to be able to run higher level accredited IT classes, which a lot of people show an interest in. It always comes down funding though, and having the time to run extra classes.”
Find out more about the Park Spring Wind Farm Community Benefits Fund and how to apply by clicking here.