Former Surrey Fire Brigades Union (FBU) member and now retired and Out of Trade member Gerry Beaty has been using his time to learn new skills and help others, thanks to courses offered by the FBU Learning Centre.
Gerry retired from Surrey Fire & Rescue Service in 2010 after 32 years’ service and also now owns his 40 year FBU membership pin. Since retirement Gerry approached the union at FBU Learning as he wanted to improve his IT Skills.
After receiving information and guidance from the FBU Project Support Organisers, Gerry was enrolled onto the ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) course, Level 2, which he successfully completed in the agreed learning timescales.
FBU Project Support Organiser, Tim Davis, explained:
The FBU ULF and Learning Centre offer support, guidance and accredited courses. In offering these, we try to engage with as many people as possible.”
It is always very satisfying to learn of Fire Brigades Union members continuing to help others in retirement but when they have utilised our Learning Courses and Qualifications to their benefit and the benefit of others it’s even more rewarding.
Gerry has always been a keen walker and has been involved in raising charity funds for some years. He has recently been volunteering for the Armed Forces Charity, SSAFA, which has led to him organising Treks along the West Highland Way, a walk he has done at least 10 times.
Gerry said that
I took a group of retired Firefighters on a week-long hike for SSAFA, we ended up making around £6000 pounds and it was a great success, this gave me the desire to learn about event management."
Gerry approached the union again and they were able to signpost him to a fully funded Level 2 course on Event Planning via there learning partner The Skills Network and Awarding Body TQUK.
He thoroughly enjoyed the course programme and said: "on my first module that I submitted the evaluation from the tutor was that my work was outstanding and had obviously put a great deal of effort into it, these comments followed on my whole course by every tutor "
Gerry went on to say that
I found it very uplifting and I wrote to all of my tutors and thanked them for their help, guidance and encouragement."
Earlier this year in January, Gerry completed the Level 2 course and became qualified in Event Planning. Gerry said:
I have been volunteering with SSAFA and helping them promoting their charity and in the next few months, when we move home, I'll be actively looking for a job in the charity sector. At nearly 60 years of age I finally feel I can undertake a role in white collar environment for the first time in my life and am very grateful to the whole Union Learning department, many many thanks."
Union members can find out more about courses through the Skills Network by talking to their Union Learning Rep. Unionlearn also has an offer with the Skills Network which can be found here.