Learner Success Story - A 'Life Hacks for Healthy Living' learner
Name: Martin Norman
What was the name of the course you did?
Life Hacks for Healthy Living
What did you like best about the course you did?
It’s reinvigorated my enthusiasm to look past my disabilities and in line with my counselling and great assistance from my doctor, to concentrate on what I can do, not just for myself and my family but also for my community. I think this community is fantastic, very friendly with lovely people and I’d do anything to help anybody here as people have helped me.
What have you learnt about yourself as a person since doing the course?
That my disabilities don’t necessarily have to be a barrier to the kind of things that I’d like to achieve as I progress through life. Obviously I have a life-changing medical condition that 30 years ago people would have laughed at and said wasn’t a thing. Instead, one has to cope with the card they’ve been dealt and this really makes a difference to my positive thoughts to carry on with what I’m doing.
What would be your advice to any person considering a HAFLS course?
I strongly recommend it. It’s certainly lifted me out of a brief period of depression and despair because of additional pain. The lady who has been teaching – her enthusiasm and passion is infectious – she’s a fantastic teacher.
The course that Martin enrolled in is called Life Hacks for Healthy Living. During the course, learners are able to improve their health with some key 'life hacks'. Each week includes new recipes to try at home, light exercise and exploration of the government’s ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’ initiative, with a focus on being active and good nutrition. To browse our range of wellbeing courses, click here.
BBO Mile Participant Begins New Career Journey
We had some very exciting news from the BBO project as one of our Mile Participants, Alex, starts her journey as an HGV driver.
Our Mile Mentor Mike has been supporting his Participant Alex in career change and job searching. Alex would like to be an HGV driver and will need to complete the relevant training for Class 2. To support Alex in her knowledge and understanding of being a lady HGV driver we were able to gain the support of a local haulage company, Gregory and Davis Transport Ltd and their lady Class 1 driver Sharni. Sharni spent 3 hours with Alex explaining what was involved and also took her to the haulage yard to see all the different size vehicles. Gregory & Davis also made it possible for Sharni to take Alex out in her 7.5 tonne rig. Alex is very excited to be starting her training in May this year and has already begun job searching and looking at potential employers.
A big Thank You to Sharni and Gregory and Davies Transport Ltd. This opportunity was made possible by the funding provided by ESF and the Community Fund.
Carers in Herts iPads and Tablets Intermediate Course Defies 'Digital Divide'
We were thrilled to receive this photo from our tutor, Evelyn at her Intermediate iPads & Tablets course, run via our partner, Carers in Herts. This course ended last week and the learners are shown here with their certificates of completion. This photo was welcomed by the HAFLS team following the worrying headlines from the latest ONS Digital Divide report.
- 5.3 million adults in the UK, or 10.0% of the adult UK population have either never used the internet or have not used it in the last three months. Since 2011 this number has almost halved, but remains significant.
- The 5 basic digital skills used to measure digital inclusion in the report were:
- managing information: using a search engine to look for information, finding a website visited before or downloading or saving a photo found online
- communicating: sending a personal message via email or online messaging service or carefully making comments and sharing information online.
- transacting: buying items or services from a website or buying and installing apps on a device.
- problem solving: verifying sources of information online or solving a problem with a device or digital service using online help.
- creating: completing online application forms including personal details or creating something new from existing online images, music or video.
- It’s estimated that 8% of people in the UK (4.3 million people) have zero basic digital skills (unable to do any of the activities described in the five basic digital skills).
- 12% (6.4 million adults) are estimated to only have limited abilities online (missing at least one of the basic digital skills).
- Top 5 online activities are:
- sending/receiving emails
- finding information about goods or services
- internet banking
- social networking
- watching videos on YouTube or similar
- 40% of online respondents indicate that being online helps them feel less alone – this is felt even more strongly among disabled people
- London has the lowest proportion of internet non-users (7.0%) while Northern Ireland continues to have the highest proportion (14.2%), followed by the North East of England (12.1%).
- Women consistently make up over half of internet non-users (58%) (3.1 million), although the overall number has declined over time
- 12% of people aged between 11 and 18 years (700,000) report having no internet access from a computer or tablet, while a further 60,000 report having no home internet access at all.
- An increasing proportion of internet non-users are over the age of 65 years
- Fewer adults report accessing the internet “on the go” in older age groups
- Across all age groups, a large proportion of adult internet non-users are disabled. Though the percentage of disabled adults not using the internet has been declining, in 2018 it was 23.3% compared with only 6.0% of those without a disability.
- The ethnicity gap in internet usage has narrowed over time as the proportion of internet non-users has declined
- Among those of working age, the economically inactive are the most likely to be internet non-users
- The percentage of households with an internet connection increases with income
- People who live alone are less likely to have an internet connection at home
- Barriers to digital inclusion:
- perceived lack of need
- lack of skills
- able to access net elsewhere
- equipment/subscription costs
- privacy/security concerns
- physical or sensorial disability
- Lack of skills reported by many older people who express the feeling that it is simply too late in life for them to start learning digital skills, saying that since they have always managed perfectly well without a computer or internet access, they see no reason to start now. Suggests they may not realise the benefits of being online, but may also reflect that they consider the benefits insufficient to justify the effort.
- The barriers to digital inclusion suggest part of the education for digital skills may need to start by highlighting the benefits of being online and overcoming any apprehension to engagement.
HAFLS offer a wide range of courses designed to improve ICT skills, for all ages and all abilities. Browse our ICT courses here.
‘I Was Sceptical…Boy I Was So Wrong’- Poetry Helping To Heal
Learners have just completed a Creative Writing course, run via The Living Room in Stevenage, a recovery centre for people with a range of addictions.
The resulting book of poetry written by the learners has provided an emotive insight into the feelings of the learners as they battle their addictions.
As one of the learners summarised, “I was sceptical as in the past I never thought this type of thing was for me. Boy I was so wrong! I loved expressing my feelings in a poem”.
With such incredible pieces of work, we look forward to sharing more poetry soon but in the meantime, here is one of the poems, written by Bobby.
The silence is refreshing
…but, it still leaves me wanting
So much love and forgiving
…but, I am not in the land of the living
I need to stand with the people, laughing
…but, who am I kidding, you must be joking
Together we will survive, keep on fighting, you know it is so uniting
…but, all I want is the white powder lining
Breath in the fresh, your head needs clearing
…but, all I can think of… where is my rizla for rolling
The stars in the night sky, you gaze at them, so sparkling
…but, I know when I close my eyes, the nightmares start happening
The aroma in the air, of families dining
…but, all I desire is my bottle for slurping
Children play in the park, their faces are gleaming
…but, all I can think of is my lifelong beatings
The excitement of the audience, at the theatre queueing
…but, my own personal drama just keeps on unfolding
A couple on a bench, in love, they are embracing
…but, all I think of, is my needle for shooting
Kin, by the graveside, all together kneeling
….but, I know when I die, there will be no one grieving
Together we stand, holding tight each other’s hand
….but, God please help me, I know you will understand