For anyone who works for a volunteer involving organisation, you will know how recruiting, training and supporting volunteers is a continual process to be embraced and celebrated. Well, The Digital Volunteers CIC is celebrating a recent success story.
Jayne, a digital volunteer in her mid 40’s, has recently been handed the reins of an after school Code Club after 9 months of support and training.
Jayne did not pursue a career after graduating with a degree in Computer Science but rather dedicated 20 years to bringing up her two sons. Now that her son’s are older she has decided to refresh her skills and get on the career path again. She has taken a number of courses in ICT and teaching adults, but felt she should demonstrate her interest and commitment by volunteering too.
As with all volunteers, everyone has their own personal motivation to volunteer. In Jayne’s case, she has a number of reasons to volunteer. Firstly, to put her computing skills into practise, secondly to develop her interpersonal skills and confidence, and thirdly to increase her chances of getting a job in teaching adults digital literacy. Jayne has had a part time job in a factory but, she is probably the first to admit, her levels of confidence need boosting.
Jayne started shadowing another volunteer in a Code Club in Woodlands Community Primary School to get a feel for the role. The Digital Volunteers works in partnership with Torfaen Communities First Digital Inclusion team, and one of their officers invited Jayne and a number of other digital volunteers to attend a Level 4 in Raspberry Pi computing that UHOVI were delivering. Jayne also started helping at a Code Club held in Abersychan High School for Year 7 -10’s and Greenmeadow Primary School. Jayne has strong ties with the latter school as her sons went here. So she has been building up quite a bit of experience over the last 8-9 months.
Jayne was given a challenge a month ago when the club leader at Greenmeadow Primary couldn’t make a session and asked Jayne if she could take charge of the club. After a little gentle persuasion that she was more than capable, and a little reassurance that a teacher would come and go during the session, she said “OK, I’ll do it!”. And she did it.
The Digital Volunteers CIC helps coding clubs get off the ground by paying a tutor whilst setting about recruiting a volunteer or two preferably to run the club on a more sustainable basis [the aim of The Digital Volunteers is to help people share their digital skills and learn new skills in the process]. Recently, another digital volunteer has been recruited alongside Jayne at Greenmeadow Primary. After a period of bedding in the new volunteer, the club leader feels confident to step back from this club and let the volunteers take control. So, last Friday Jayne became the club leader and we believe that she will continue to grow in confidence and take this new challenge head on.
The very latest news from Jayne is that she has a job interview soon for an ICT tutor role in an adult education centre. Fingers crossed x