Margaret McCue

“The classes have been most helpful, interesting and insightful. The atmosphere is very sociable and as a result I have learned a lot, I have completed Word and I am learning and making progress in Excel. You do the classes at your own pace so you never feel intimidated or worry that you’re falling behind people who have more experience.”

Frank Campbell

“I had never used a computer and didn’t even know how to switch one on. I have completed USE IT and can now access my emails and do my job searching online. I’ve completed digital literacy modules and the basics about Microsoft Word. I am now looking forward to USE IT+ and learning even more, starting with Microsoft Word. I feel I am more independent now on a computer.”

Alan Forsyth

“I like the course very much and I have completed Microsoft Word and I am moving on to Excel. This is all new to me and I am learning new skills. The course work is easy to follow and help is always available. As a result I don’t feel nervous about using computers or coming on courses.”

IT Volunteer Peter McWilliams

“I have been at Tynecastle for about ten months. I have helped so many interesting people and have really enjoyed the experience. I like to see people progress and gain the much needed digital literacy skills that they need in today’s world.”

Inspiring tales of IT achievements

Here are just some of the great testimonials from our learners – proving that everyone can gain from getting to grips with the basics or brushing up on their IT skills.

IT Learning Stories

Ghazala’s trainer says she had a real fear of computers and felt bad because she couldn’t keep up with her children.  She started the course with deep insecurity around IT, but the course not only gave her enough confidence and skills to apply for jobs online – she was successful!  She started her job with WH Smith after only four weeks on the course.   She now wants to go on to take more advanced computer courses.

Ghazala said:  “Before I started this course I was not very confident about using a computer and applying for jobs.  The atmosphere in the class was great for learning and sociable too.  Now I have learned all this and got a lot of confidence, I am keen to learn more.”

When he first started, Brian was nervous and worried he would struggle to complete the course.  As the course progressed he became more confident and asked questions, which really helped with his learning.

Brian said:  “I had a little knowledge but not as much as I would have liked.  I felt relaxed and comfortable in the class and this nice atmosphere made it easier to learn.”

Anne had no experience or interest in computers but was made redundant in January and was referred to us by Community Renewal. She had worked all her life and being made redundant really knocked her confidence. She says she felt nervous and stupid when she first started the course. Even though she kept making mistakes, “The tutor put me at ease and patiently showed me how to do things over and over again.”

Anne also says, “I wish I had done a computer course years ago. It made me feel I’m never too old to learn new skills. I really enjoyed the course and I’ve told all my friends and family about it.”

Anne now goes to the library two or three times a week to keep practising. She has applied for a few jobs online which she couldn’t do before and has had two interviews as a result. She has also registered with Volunteer Edinburgh to keep up her confidence and get her out and about meeting people.

Robert completed our CISCO IT Essentials course delivered as part of the Get DigitAll project aimed at offering young people the opportunity to get started on the IT career ladder.

Robert says “I thought the course was really good. The course has given me qualifications that I wouldn’t have got without going to Create Digital Skills. I have benefited in lots of ways. I was offered the chance to join their volunteer program, which I enjoyed. They also secured me and other students places in the BT Ready for Work Programme, that really helped give me an understanding of what I want to do further in the future. I am now going on to an apprenticeship thanks to Lesley and Calum. Without Create I don’t think I would be where I am today.”

Commsworld said:

“Commsworld fully support Create Digital Skills; this is a fantastic initiative and we strongly believe that everyone should have access to this kind of learning and support especially in this digital age that we are in. Robert joined Commsworld on three week work placement as a Customer Service Agent and in that short time he was able to demonstrate his commitment to learn about the business and quickly settled into his role. We are delighted that he is now a full time employee for Commsworld and a valued team member.”

Catriona had had some experience of computers and used Microsoft Office many years ago. She has been unemployed for 8 years. However, she found the new desktop and Office very different and felt she was struggling to get back into the swing of it, so she started with the basic Use IT course.

Catriona felt the course was helpful and friendly, with an encouraging instructor, James. She also liked the learning materials and felt the pictures helped her understand. She found the other classmates encouraging and enjoyed the social aspect of the classes too. The benefits of the class were that it made her feel relaxed and had “great banter”. It was good from a social point of view – nobody was excluded, unlike other classes from different organisations she had experienced, which may have been more of classroom environment.

“James’s classes are still about learning but it’s more relaxed.  Everybody acknowledges and talks to each other.”

Once she had gone through the course Catriona then went on to the Use IT Plus programme to focus on Microsoft Office. She says she now feels much more confident and is learning independently although she prefers the structure of the classroom.

Catriona says, “I feel like the class has given me a purpose. James goes out of his way to help and if he does not know something he will go find out (even if it relates to other courses!).”

Catriona lists the top three things about the class as: “helpful, approachable and supportive”.

Justine had a laptop at home but very little experience with computers. She knew the absolute basics but felt very left behind by the fast change of pace of new technology.

She says she enjoyed the course because it made her realise that there were a lot of people like her with similar issues.  She liked the learning experience because it showed her that she was more than capable of learning. As the weeks went on her confidence grew alongside her competence.

Justine reports the course had a good impact on her life because as her confidence grew, she realised some people had no computing skills at all. This made her think about helping others so she has now been recruited as a volunteer at Gilmerton. She is enjoying volunteering and has been inspired to apply for a college course to become a pupil support assistant. She feels doing the course and the process of learning new skills had a positive impact on her life as a whole.

Her tutor says: “Justine had been unemployed for a year and really lacked confidence and as a single mum had to juggle childcare to be able to attend the course. She is mildly dyslexic and school had not been a good experience for her. As she went on she enjoyed being around other people and realised she was not only a good learner, she was good at helping other people.   I helped her by encouraging her to talk more and how to learn independently using good study techniques.

She got the USE IT Achievement Certificate and also went on to complete the Use IT + certificate. She is doing very well with her volunteering role and is a great support in the class.”

Justine then went on to Edinburgh College to study childcare and completed her course in May 2017.  Her top three comments about Create Digital Skills?   “Brilliant, confidence building and supportive.” She went on to say, “I have recommended the class to friends and people at college.  I couldn’t have gone to college without it.  I am planning to go back and volunteer again once my course has finished.”


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