News & Announcements

Volunteers provide support during COVID-19 pandemic

With the closure of face to face digital drop-in sessions due to COVID-19, Include-IT Mersey decided to pilot telephone support instead. Digital Champion volunteers began to offer telephone support to members of the public across the Liverpool City Region and it worked so well, this will be continuing for the foreseeable future.

Learners are getting in touch for help with queries about things like online shopping and emails by people using tablets, laptops, phones or P.C’s. Without the fantastic Digital Champion volunteers, it would not be possible to provide help to so many people across the region so Include-IT Mersey would like to say a huge thank you to all of our volunteers, including those that are unable to help at the moment due to the drop-ins being closed.

Get Online Week from 19th– 25th October is the perfect opportunity to give technology a go. Include-IT Mersey would like to encourage people to contact Lauren, the project’s Volunteer Coordinator, on 07860 846 605 or lauren.jones@seftoncvs.org.uk, to receive assistance from a Digital Champion.

Or if you would like to come on one of our training courses, please call 0151 920 0726 (extension 212) or visit the project’s website to find a training provider near you.  We are still recruiting and delivering, even if social distancing restrictions mean that some of the support will need to be provided to you remotely at home.  If you can’t already access the internet at home, either because you don’t have a computer or broadband, you will receive a tablet and mobile data (sim card) to enable you to access the internet for 3 months to enable you to take part in a course.

To be eligible to come on one of our courses, you need to be aged 30+, out of work (but not retired) and eligible to live and work in the UK.

Gill Tollitt Wins ERSA’s ‘Frontline Advisor of the Year 2020’ Award

VOLA’s Stu McGrory said “When our team first discussed the award categories, there was an overwhelming consensus that we should nominate Gill Tollitt for this particular award.  We have some fantastic tutors working on the project, all doing amazing work, but Gill stands out! Gill does exceptional work that is creative, flexible and innovative, but most importantly, she consistently goes the extra mile.”

Gill is a tutor at WEA, a partner in our Include-IT Mersey project. WEA Manager Graham Barker said

“Gill was successful in securing the position of tutor on our project and very quickly became integral in the project team.  She brought a flare to the role in her organisational skills, understanding of what we are trying to achieve and her empathy for the people we are trying to help. Gill has the knack of understanding what people need, not just in developing their IT and employability skills, but all of the background things that people need to get on in life.”

Quotes from Gill’s learners include:

“Since starting the course my life has gone so fast-paced into a better lifestyle, I couldn’t have done it without Gill’s help and support. I have better confidence, a better life and am not looking back. Two years ago I lost everything and turned to alcohol and drugs. I’ve come so far and I am so grateful for Gill’s support.”

“There was a relaxed, safe, fun environment and you learn best when you’re relaxed and enjoying yourself.  I found the course informative in a relaxed atmosphere.  It gave me the permission to widen my horizons and think bigger.  Gill was incredibly welcoming and inspiring, encouraging me to think ‘outside the box’ and that all my goals are achievable.”

To date, Gill has supported 175 digitally excluded people to gain IT and employment skills and move on in life in a more positive direction.  What makes Gill stand out above the rest is her ‘over and above’, or her ‘extra mile’! Gill’s learners leave with motivation, passion and a zest for life they didn’t have before.

VOLA, Sefton CVS and the Include-IT Mersey Team with ERSA’s ‘Team of the Year 2020’ Award

Led by Sefton CVS in partnership with VOLA Consortium and 14 other not-for-profit providers, the project has supported 1,299 socially and digitally excluded residents to upskill and move on in life in a more positive direction.

Our Partners include: Age UK Wirral, Alt Valley Development Trust, Big Help Project, Everton Development Trust, Greenbank College, Granby Toxteth Development Trust, Independence Initiatives, Rotunda College, Speke Training and Education Centre, St. Helens Chamber, Torus Foundation, Halton & St Helens Voluntary and Community Action, Good Things Foundation, Worker’s Education Association.

Supported by a 48 strong project team, to date, 563 participants have progressed to work, further training or active job search, with 174 currently on programme, surpassing total project targets.

Project Manager Stu McGrory said

“My Board, members, funders and strategic partners always tell me that we never shout about ourselves enough for the excellent, crucial work we do to support the city region’s most disadvantaged residents; and we have certainly never applied for an award before!

But in recent months, with the challenging circumstances presented by the Coronavirus crisis, the way I have seen my project team – at all levels – proactively spring in to action to change the ways we work to ensure continued remote support for learners during the lock-down, has just inspired and encouraged me, and filled me with pride!  I have genuinely thought ‘what a team.”

For the Include-IT Mersey project, Sefton CVS, founding member and host agency for VOLA’s management unit, stepped up as lead body, pulling together the partnership and successfully applying for a large NLCF/ ESF co-financed grant.

The project has a 6-strong central management unit, with 39 staff in the wider project team, spread across 14 delivery partners.  The vast majority are front-line delivery with some back office roles.  We also have 37 volunteer Digital Champions who support and enhance the work of the project, who are equally respected and embraced as project team members.

VOLA said

“So why do we think we are such a good team?  For a range of reasons, including: A shared sense of ownership and common goal across all project team members of our mission to help socially and digitally excluded people to move on in life.  We are committed, proactive and professional people – at all levels – who really care about the learners we support.  We pride ourselves on having an extremely positive working culture apparent across all partners/project team members – with high levels of trust, flexibility and responsive, constructive engagement around performance management & problem solving.”

COVID-19 Update

Include-IT Mersey has taken the decision to close our digital drop ins and restrict our courses following the guidance given from the Government regarding the part closure of educational settings and to avoid group gatherings.

We have taken these steps to try to protect the health and well being of our vulnerable learners and staff.

If you would like more information please contact the provider covering your area. This information can be accessed from the Course Details section in the Menu.

Include IT Mersey – Halton Course – Now enrolling for September 2018

Do you know a Halton resident, aged 30+ and looking for work or training? We can help!

The project offers a personalised package of support to out of work, digitally excluded residents around the Liverpool City Region to –

  • help you improve IT and online skills
  • build your confidence in using digital technologies
  • support you towards employment.

Now enrolling for September 2018 – Get in touch with Louise O’Brien at Halton Borough Council 0151 511 7788 to register your interest or find out more information!

Halton MBC - Sept 2018

Include IT Mersey – Greenbank Course – Now enrolling for July 2018!!

july 2018 course 1Do you know a Liverpool resident, aged 30+ and looking for work or training? We can help!

The project offers a personalised package of support to out of work, digitally excluded residents around the Liverpool City Region to –

  • help you improve IT and online skills
  • build your confidence in using digital technologies
  • support you towards employment.

Now enrolling for July 2018 – Get in touch with Roz Dean at Greenbank on 07402 582 442 to register your interest.

Are you a visually impaired Wirral resident and looking to improve your IT skills and get online? We can help you!

Henshaws - Birkenhead

Henshaws Society for the Blind are working with Include IT Mersey to offer FREE employability and IT skills training to visually impaired residents of Wirral who are looking to get into work, education or training!

The project offers a personalised package of support to out of work, digitally excluded residents to –

  • help you improve IT and online skills
  • build your confidence in using digital technologies
  • support you towards employment.

We are now enrolling for July 2018 – Get in touch with the First Steps Team 0300 222 5555 to register your interest or ask for more information!

 

Include IT Mersey – Greenbank Course – Now enrolling for April 2018!!

Greenbank - April 2018

Do you know a Liverpool resident, aged 30+ and looking for work or training? We can help!

The project offers a personalised package of support to out of work, digitally excluded residents around the Liverpool City Region to –

  • help you improve IT and online skills
  • build your confidence in using digital technologies
  • support you towards employment.

Now enrolling for April 2018 – Get in touch with Roz Dean at Greenbank on 07402 582 442 to register your interest.

Include IT Mersey – Rotunda Course – Now enrolling for April 2018

Rotunda Course

The project offers a personalised package of support to out of work, digitally excluded  residents around the Liverpool City Region to –

  • help you improve IT and online skills
  • build your confidence in using digital technologies
  • support you towards employment.

Now enrolling for April 2018 at Rotunda Ltd, 107-115 Great Mersey Street, Liverpool, L5 2PL

Get in touch on 0151 207 2176 to register your interest.

Include IT Mersey – Henshaws Society For The Blind – January 2018 Course

Henshaws - Jan 2018

The project offers a personalised package of support to out of work, digitally excluded visually impaired residents around the Liverpool City Region to –

  • help you improve IT and online skills
  • build your confidence in using digital technologies
  • support you towards employment.

Now enrolling for January 2018 at Henshaws Society For The Blind, 10 Duke Street, Liverpool, L1 5AS.

Get in touch on 0151 708 7055 to register your interest.