Charity opens new learning centre in Melksham

By Anita Jaynes on October 10, 2014

Regional training charity The Learning Curve opened its new learning centre in Melksham this week, providing local people with opportunities on their doorstep to develop the skills and confidence to progress in work and life.

Its official opening on Wednesday was well attended by local people who had never previously used computers and wanted to find out more about how developing internet skills could make their lives easier. Friendly tutors were on hand to provide advice and many local people signed up for free Get Online courses delivered by The Learning Curve at community venues across the county. The open day formed part of a series of events across the country as part of national Get Online Week, an initiative coordinated by UK Online Centres aiming to inspire 50,000 people to find out what they could do online.

The new learning centre was opened by two existing learners, Doreen Milner, 78, and Stella Cruse, 80, who had only recently learnt how to use computers after completing free courses with The Learning Curve. Doreen and Stella had been selected by UK Online Centres to be ambassadors for Get Online Week and their image appeared on posters across the country.

Helen Milner, Chief Executive of Tinder Foundation, the organisation behind the national network of UK Online centres and annual Get Online Week Campaign said:“Stella and Doreen are a brilliant advert for getting online, because they’re just having so much fun with it!  What’s more, they can both say ‘if I can do it, so can you’ and that’s a pretty strong Get Online Week message. I think they’re both an inspiration, and I know people of any age who see this poster can’t fail to be inspired too. Big thanks must go to both of them for being such fantastic ambassadors and models!”

Tim Ward, Chief Executive of The Learning Curve: “Our charity aims to change lives through learning. We are delighted to see how much Doreen and Stella have benefitted from completing the Get Online course. Their story is a great example of how our courses, in familiar community settings, have been so successful in increasing confidence with computers among primarily older learners and improving digital inclusion.”

Visitors to the open day were able to find out about the wide range of courses provided by The Learning Curve, from parenting skills for young people and support for unemployed people to first aid and training qualifications and much more.

The event was also attended by Melksham Rotary Club, who generously pledged to support The Learning Curve’s fundraising to further develop its new Melksham centre, including improving accessibility. The Learning Curve has been selected to take part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge, an annual matched giving event. To participate in the Challenge, The Learning Curve needs collect at least £1,000 in pledges from individuals, businesses and foundations which will then be quadrupled through a combination of public donations during December and charity champion funding from The Reed Foundation who run The Big Give Christmas Challenge. Pledges need to be a minimum of £100 and need to be made online at by 24th October 2014. During the December challenge phase, donations of £5 or more need to be made online from 10am on 4th, 5th and 6th December to qualify for matched funding.

Kathryn Roynon, Manager at The Learning Curve says “We are delighted to have been chosen to take part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge and offer our supporters the opportunity to see the value of their donations increased through matched funding. It is really important to us to improve accessibility at our new learning centre so that we can support even more people to develop their skills and confidence.”

To find out more about courses available at The Learning Curve, contact 01225 792500 or enquiries@learningcurve.org.uk

Pictured above: Silver cyber surfers Doreen Milner and Stella Cruse.