I’m a geek, I love computers and I love people, so what job could be more perfect than Digital Support Co-ordinator at a busy housing association like ateb?
I started working on ateb’s National Lottery funded Get Connected project in April 2017 and was fortunate that my role was a new one; I was able to shape the project and make a real impact. I purchased a large van and turned it into Dot.e, our digital support training room on wheels.
We do everything together: travelling the county, supporting our tenants to get online for the first time, make Universal Credit applications and pay their rent, maximising a tenant’s income and basically helping them with anything that’s online while still meeting our project targets.
I have set up computer clubs and held tablet training sessions for new users; I also run a weekly job club helping jobseekers to look for work, apply for jobs and improve their chances of finding a job. It’s a varied role but it is probably the most rewarding job I have ever had – and I love it.
I recently started giving awards to ‘star learners’ and have to mention Dilwyn. Dilwyn had never touched a tablet and didn’t have an interest in using one. He came to my tablet training and said, “I’m fed up with my family saying I need to get online – how can you help me?”. A few weeks later, Dilwyn had purchased his own iPad and he was away! One year on and Dilwyn does his shopping online, uses Facebook almost daily, plays music every day on YouTube and even watches Netflix (he loves films and TV series). He has also invested in an iPhone, an Amazon Fire Stick and Amazon Alexa, which, again, all get used regularly. Dilwyn is no longer disadvantaged and is a positive role model for other tenants in his Supported Living accommodation, often helping others use technology.
Dilwyn really has been a star learner and stories like his are why I love my job!
With less than one year left with National Lottery funding, ateb has decided to continue funding my role (with some small tweaks) when the project ends in 2020.
I’m looking forward to helping more tenants get online, save money and stay safe for a lot longer!
Tomos is a Digital Support Coordinator at ateb