Our organisation was part of a network coordinating industry action through a new initiative, DevicesDotNow, targeting the 1.7 million households who don’t have access to the internet and are digitally excluded as we face a socially distanced world gripped by COVID-19.
As part of this initiative, a free tablet device with internet connectivity was given to a vulnerable person who we knew would benefit from it.
ACDA Skills Training worked closely with a number of services to help identify vulnerable individuals who were eligible and who would really benefit from having access to a device with internet connection.
English My Way
‘English My Way’ is a pre-entry level ESOL programme which has been developed by Things Foundation (the organisation that manage the UK Online Centres network) in partnership with BBC Learning and the British Council, funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
'English My Way' focused on supporting adults with no or low levels of English to improve their confidence in speaking English so that they can better integrate with their local communities through an effective mixture of tutor and/ or volunteer-led learning sessions. Topics included: 'All About Me', 'Daily Life', 'Out and About', 'My Child's School', 'Healthcare (At the Doctors)', 'Where I Live', 'Shopping', 'Accessing Local Services' and 'Things I Want to Do'.
Digital Skills Training
Alongside the ESOL programme ACDA also delivered Digital Skills (Basic IT training) at a number of libraries in Ealing, Hillingdon, Harrow and in Hounslow, again at no cost to the centre or the learners.
The Digital Skills sessions were delivered on a ‘drop-in’ basis. The only eligibility requirement was that learners have to be adults (aged 18+). The Digital Skills sessions were ideal for those individuals who want to improve their IT skills and become more confident with using computers and being on-line.
The drop-in sessions covered a number of topics including: how to set up an email account, using search engines, searching and applying for jobs, using Universal Jobsmatch, using social media e.g. Facebook, accessing health information through the NHS website, on-line shopping, banking and how to be safe online, etc. The course content for the Basic IT course was delivered through an effective mixture of online learning as well as one-to-one support.
Directions West London
As part of a London Councils and ESF funded Programme called 'Directions West London', ACDA Skills Training offered Education, Training and Employment support to individuals living in Ealing, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Richmond and Brent.
We also offered specialist support for those who were homeless, experiencing issues with mental health or with drugs and alcohol addiction.
The Directions West London Training and Employment service provided:
• a dedicated and supportive adviser
• a comprehensive assessment
• advice, guidance & information on courses, volunteering and work
• help with setting goals and planning ahead
• personal development sessions
• pre-employment skills support and job search strategies
• regular reviews and on-going support