Phillip first met Pluss’ Positive People at the start of 2021 for more opportunities for learning and training on his journey towards work.
Having been forced online for his support, due to COVID-19, luckily Phillip was already quite comfortable with technology. He was able to take part in organised video calls, a lifeline for social interaction, and was making the most of the computer he’d had at home for over a decade.
What was different about Phillip though, was that he was still keen to learn, very much taking the mindset of “You don’t know what you don’t know!”. Technology is an ever-changing beast with new information and skills to pick up every day. That’s why everyone who signs up to Pluss’ Positive People in Somerset and Devon is offered time with Cosmic, our digital inclusion partner, to explore their digital skills and how they might improve them.
Over the last five months, Phillip has been working with his digital trainer Chloe, to develop his digital skills and has been surprised by what he’s been able to learn:
I think I’ve probably learnt more in the last couple of months than I have done in the last, 2, 5, 10 years.
In their sessions, they’ve been focused on enhancing the knowledge Phillip already has. Whilst he was able to send emails before, he can now do it on his phone too, and can organise and search through his emails when he needs to. He’s learnt to multitask better on his laptop, switching between open apps using the Christmas cracker button (really called Task View, but that isn’t so memorable). They’ve also explored cloud storage, looking at a more modern way of creating and managing documents using free online platforms like OneDrive.
“It’s been a big boost because there’s things I can do now, that I could never do before, or I may have thought I could do before, but not done it so well.”
Another big opportunity for Phillip has been to socialise on his computer by attending Positive People’s Steps to Success course, and Cuppa Chat sessions. In particular, Cuppa Chat has been a great event for Phillip, giving him the chance to meet weekly with likeminded people, also supported by Positive People, to share stories, experiences and generally have a casual natter.
“It’s just a really informal group, we have a bit of fun. Sometimes, I’ll take some pictures outside and I’ll show somebody, and stuff like that. But like you say, there is a serious point behind it, but because it’s, you know, that’s how it is, it doesn’t seem like it.
Phillip hopes to start a formal qualification for his digital skills later this summer which will give him new options and prospects for work in the future. It’s always good to explore the opportunities offered to you, you never know where it will take you.