Alan aged 42 is long term unemployed and a wheelchair user. He lives in a rural coastal community where there is high unemployment, no rail transport and limited public transport options. This is a seasonal economy, based on a major influx of holiday makers each year. Homelessness has become more evident over recent years. Social isolation, low income, health deprivation and disabilities, are major factors within this community.
Alan has long term health conditions contributing to low self-esteem, he has previously worked full time within the local entertainment industry, but due to his health he had to leave this industry and has since struggled to gain employment.
We met Alan at a drop in event we put together at a local venue. Due to his disabilities and some learning difficulties, he is anxious and uncomfortable of new situations. He identified that reading and writing were an issue along with concentration. He has been unemployed for a period of time and actively seeking employment, although had he has no transport.
We started by looking at what Alan wanted to achieve and how he thought we could help him. His willingness to learn was evident, although he was reserved, shy and lacking social interaction.
With the help of earphones we were able to block out noise so he could concentrate without distractions on the basic learning he was undertaking and ask for help and assistance when he did not understand words or needed reassurance.
Building trust through support, kindness, patience and understanding has developed skills that Alan didn’t think possible.
He has out surpassed his or our expectations. He has undertaken some courses, improved his English and understanding. He will start to develop his literacy and numeracy skills next.
He has undertaken his digital champion training, through his commitment to want to achieve. He has become more self-confident, talking to others within the group and partaking in group discussions.
He is going to continue with his own digital journey and help others starting out on theirs.
Without starting this journey, Alan’s life would have stayed at a standstill, he is learning new life skills, interacting and supporting others, while still being supported.