Unite online courses help Jane support her community

After an email from her union Jane Haden decided to contact her Regional Learning Organiser to find out more about the courses on offer – and was soon bitten by the learning bug.

Learn with Unite

Jane is currently volunteering as a coordinator with a local Covid 19 response group, and the Plymouth and SW Devon Unite Community Branch Treasurer. She has recently started online courses through Learn with Unite.

Jane explained,

Following an email I had received and a conversation with the Community admin Victoria Hart, she kindly put me in touch with Tazim Ladhu Unite’s Regional Learning Organiser.”

Tazim gave me details of the Learn with Unite project and the many courses available.  She was really kind and helped me to decide which courses would be most appropriate to my needs. I enrolled for the Litmos heroes learning and also on TQUK Level 2 Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems course.”

Jane has enjoyed the learning experience and found the Litmos courses easy to access and quick to complete, covering a really wide range of topics that give a flavour of what learners might want to explore or top up on where they have a gap. This what Jane did, specifically regarding food allergies.

Moving onto the Level 2 course Jane said:

The Awareness of Mental Health Problems course has been far more intensive, and has covered many differing mental health conditions, as well as the effect of the stigma surrounding mental illness on the person’s recovery, all of which has been really interesting.”

The course material is well laid out and easy to access and support given by an assigned tutor.”

Jane has found that the skills learnt on these courses have helped her role coordinating a Mutual Aid group supporting people in the community with access to food, a phone chat service, and a prescription collection service.

Jane said:

The food allergies course that I did through Litmos was really useful as I had done a food safety certificate but it didn’t cover in much detail allergies and the Litmos course just topped up my knowledge, particularly as we prepare fresh food packs every week for local families.”

The mental health awareness course has also been useful, for example recently we had a women referred to us, with the help of one of the volunteers and the knowledge gained on this course we felt that she certainly needed help and probably had signs of dementia, we are now in the process of getting support for her.”

The group is starting to get more referrals from Social Services and housing associations with people in quite difficult situations and the course has given Jane knowledge of where people can go for help.

Jane added;

We also deal with quite a number of elderly people who perhaps have the early signs of dementia and the course gives practical tips for how to communicate with people with these difficulties.”

Since finding out about the courses she can access through the union Jane has been bitten by the learning bug and said she would like to continue learning and would like to find out about courses on effective communication, health and safety for volunteer groups, supporting the wellbeing of volunteers and possibly book keeping and accounting.

Jane has praised the support from the union, and Tazim in particular, saying,

Tazim provided some really good initial support helping me to sign on to the Litmos courses and the mental health awareness course and also rang to see how I was doing. Both of which were really helpful and I was grateful for.”

Jane thanked Unite for the opportunity to improve her skills and knowledge would encourage anyone thinking of signing up to similar course to contact their union learning rep or regional learning team.

Do It! It’s great to improve your knowledge and that in turn improves your self-esteem.”

For more details visit the Learn with Unite website.