Visiting the Edlington Hilltop Centre

15 Jun 2017

Written by Jonathan Bradwell

After joining Good Things Foundation a week ago I was keen to visit one of the Online Centres to discover more about what they do. Having never been to an Online Centre before, I was unaware of what to expect on my visit to the Edlington Hilltop Centre in Doncaster.

On arriving to the centre I was given a warm welcome by Community Officer Robert Reid. After a guided tour of the centre, Rob introduced me to a number of learners, volunteers, and those using the centre as a meeting point for social clubs.

Rob and his team of volunteers were truly enthusiastic about helping digitally and socially excluded people in their community. From running a Victorian Tea Room for those affected by dementia, to the job search sessions held throughout the week, the centre pride themselves on being able to offer a solution to any problem affecting its users.

Meeting the volunteers

Before leaving, I took the time to speak to two volunteers in more detail about their roles and experience within this outstanding community project.

Peter, a former learner with a passion for business administration, came to the centre a few years ago on the advice of the Jobcentre. He was initially introduced to learning tools such as Learn My Way. Peter now volunteers running classes on interview preparation and CV writing, and has recently achieved a Level 4 qualification in Business Administration.

Shortly after coming to the centre as a learner, Ben came to light as a truly skilled graphic designer. Now, Ben not only volunteers running his own art classes, he also single handedly creates any artwork needed by the centre. Ben has recently designed and launched a mascot called Mole-R, who is designed to encourage children to want to visit the dentist.

I think what surprised me most was the wide range of support available to anyone who needed it. Whether struggling to gain employment through a lack of digital skills, or just in need of somewhere to socialise with others whilst learning something new, Edlington Hilltop Centre had the answer.

Over the next few months I am looking forward to speaking with more inspiring people who are learning, volunteering and working at centres within the Online Centres Network.

To see more about the amazing work at the Edlington Hilltop Centre, click here.