Cheshire College brings digital skills to the community with New Leaf

Cheshire College has recently collaborated with the charitable outreach organisation New Leaf to teach digital skills to learners, strengthening the College’s commitment to upskilling the wider community. 

New Leaf and Cheshire College’s collaboration enables disadvantaged learners, who would otherwise be unable to access learning, to receive top-quality teaching content. The aim of the collaboration is to build upon community education and provide high-quality teaching to those who have no prior experience within a busy college environment. 

The 6-week part-time course, ‘New Leaf – Introduction to Computers’, enabled learners, who had no prior experience of information technology, to gain valuable digital skills and confidence which will benefit their employability and personal capabilities, particularly important after the digital skills gaps became more prevalent because of Covid19.  

Taking place at the Unity Centre in Chester, the small group of 8 learners were provided with an intimate space to learn useful computer skills in a comfortable and supportive environment. 

 
The course was a huge success and resulted in the learners choosing to continue their studies and expand their skills with another part-time course at Cheshire College, starting this month at the Chester Campus with expert tutor Tricia Kosuth-Phillips.  

The partnership with New Leaf has enabled Cheshire College to break down the barriers of learning new skills and has extended teaching and funding to those who are a part of New Leaf’s mentor programme, which aims to support people back into employment. 

One learner, Jill Millington, said: “Before I started this course I had very low esteem, but I’m now realising that I can do it, and I will. My ultimate goal is to gain employment and this course allows me to learn essential skills. In all types of work there are now computer or technical elements that you need to know, which is why this digital course has been so valuable to me.” 

Another learner, Kerry Woods said: “I never thought I’d go back to studying again, but I love learning in the College and I really like having a learner badge, I am really proud to show it off and tell others about my experience. I currently work part-time in a care centre as a support worker for people with cerebral palsy, which is something I didn’t think was possible, the course has created lots of new opportunities for me.” 

Employer Engagement and Relationship Manager, Helen Meakin, said: “The success of the course speaks for itself. I am so pleased that so many of the learners have decided to continue their studies and made the leap to join the College on-Campus. 

“The College’s collaboration with New Leaf is a fantastic opportunity to extend our teaching to the wider community and break down the barriers of learning for all.” 

If you are interested in a part-time course, visit ccsw.ac.uk, email info@ccsw.ac.uk or call 01270 654654 (Crewe Campus) / 01244 656555 (Ellesmere Port and Chester Campuses) to enrol. Courses could be FREE* if you earn less than £17,374.50 per year.