This month, we visited INspirED Stockport, one of the many groups we’ve funded.

INspirED Stockport, a Social Enterprise, wants to break the mould of traditional learning. They aim to remove obstacles by offering quality, no-pressure, tailored-made learning in small groups or one-on-one in community venues and other informal settings.

With a no pressure approach, INspirED Stockport provide a programme of free ‘first steps’ courses, in English, Maths and basic ICT, all offering a positive approach to enjoyment and achievement.

We attended InspirED Stockport during the last week of the current attendees’ course. The group were awarded certificates for each individual module that they’d completed over a 24-week period. The certificates were presented by our Corporate Partners CDL.

CDL’s fund helped the group to continue its 24-week programmes. The Stockport-based software designers also donated laptops for the learners to do their modules on.

One lady who completed the course to a very high standard begun attending to boost her confidence after some difficult personal issues she’d faced. She built on skills she already had, and her increased self-confidence has now helped her to get a full-time job, while still attending Inspired Stockport on a weekly basis as a volunteer to help other people in the same shoes as herself.

Another lady, who was a self-confessed technophobe in her 70s is now a computer pro and can do things she never thought possible. She said: “It’s amazing what you can learn on a computer. It really opens up your world and changes your life. I can now email my friends who live abroad and stay in touch with them really easily – I can even attach photos to send them of my holidays.”

Judith, the group’s organiser and one of the teachers said: “The money from Forever Manchester and CDL gave us the ability to expand in Reddish. The people of Reddish had no adult education courses available to them. Our courses filled quickly and could have time and time again. Applying to Forever Manchester was the easiest grant application we did, and we really appreciated the support from their Awards team throughout the whole process.”

The group is now hoping to expand further with a ‘Time for Your Tablet’ course, teaching older people, who have often been given tablets as gifts with no instructions, to use them to their full capability.

Melissa Johnson, Director of CDL said: “As a technology company, CDL are proud to support Inspired Stockport in their mission to help people develop their I.T. skills to enhance their career choices and to help them to get along in this digital age.  We really admire Inspired Stockport’s individual focus which allows trainees to develop at their own pace and where necessary get support with every day literacy and numeracy issues.   Tina and Judith are both dedicated teachers and their courses have real impact with some trainees finding employment, others going onto further education and all benefiting from the social support of their tutors and peers.”