Seventeen year old Welsh speaking volunteer Ciaran Packham-Dawe has been supporting people from Merthyr to get online at drop-in sessions held in the town and supported by the Welsh Government’s digital inclusion project, Communities 2.0.
Ciaran Packham-Dawe started volunteering with Get Merthyr Online when his mother Cheryl started working as a Tutor at Castle House. Ciaran has been able to gain the skills needed to become a much liked and valued volunteer. He has studied computers at school where he is now studying A levels in English, Media and Business Studies. Volunteering with Get Merthyr Online has given him a vast knowledge that he is able to share during the sessions. He is also able to deliver the sessions through the medium of Welsh.
Volunteering with Get Merthyr Online has allowed Ciaran to enhance his skills and experiences with working with others and has had a beneficial effect on his confidence and people skills. He is now considering becoming a tutor in digital skills when he finishes his current course of studies in school.
When asked why he volunteers Ciaran answered,
“I like to teach other people new skills as I feel it enhances their lives and affects it in some way, as well as giving me great pleasure in knowing that I have helped that person achieve something in their life that they would not have been able to do without my help.”
Cathryn Marcus, Project Director of Communities 2.0, commented:
“Ciaran is one of many volunteers who have supported people of all ages and backgrounds to get online during the course of Communities 2.0. He has gained essential skills that will serve him well in future education and employment.
“Ciaran can convey the importance of using the internet in what is becoming a more and more digital world. Communicating with friends and family reduces social isolation. The ability to use the internet can also open access to money saving websites, online payments, education, jobs and training so it is an essential skill for everyone to develop whatever their age”.
Ryan Stokes, Merthyr Tydfil CBC Family and Community Learning Manager commented:
“Providing individuals with Welsh Language and Digital Inclusion skills has been identified as priority within the Merthyr Tydfil Adult Community Learning Strategy. Working in partnership with Communities 2.0 has enabled the residents of Merthyr Tydfil to become better equipped to function digitally in today’s society”.
The Welsh Government and European Regional Development Funded Communities 2.0 programme is delivered through partnerships with public libraries, job centres and community buildings. The programme finishes in Spring 2015.
The Get Merthyr Online sessions have now finished but some sessions are available across Merthyr, Aberfan and Treharris throughout the week. For more information, contact Cheryl on 07737341738.
Further information on adult ICT sessions across Wales is available by calling 0845 474 8282 or from local libraries, drop-in centres, post offices and other community venues
Communities 2.0 is a Welsh Government programme and is part of the Delivering a Digital Wales strategy. Communities 2.0 is delivered by four partner organisations – the Wales Co-operative Centre, Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services, Carmarthenshire County Council and the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling (University of South Wales).