Welcome to Congleton Learning Centre


Here is a selection of our learners stories. Find out how they have achieved their goals and developed their skills whilst attending the Learning Centre.




Mary currently cares part time for her mother and in order to have other interests outside home, she decided to find out about computer courses in her home town.


Mary wanted to gain a qualification in IT so she previewed some of the courses available to make sure that she would enjoy and benefit from them, and then we discussed the timescale for completion.


Mary found it was easy to fit in her learning and caring responsibilities as she could access her courses online at home and communicating with her tutor by email was easy and inexpensive. During her study period she also attended the centre on a regular basis and found that the centre was welcoming and her fellow learners were good company too. She was also able to motivate other new starters.


Mary has successfully achieved the ECDL ITQ qualification, and has now progressed to adult numeracy which she is continuing to study online at home. She has also participated in group sessions in the centre and as an established learner feels confident to help and encourage other learners.


Mary was very wary stepping into the centre initially but within no time at all she was one of the most motivated and outgoing learners attending.



Ian decided he needed to reassess his life and skills when he took voluntary redundancy after 17 years as a care-worker.


He got to know about the learning opportunities at Congleton Learning Centre through the jobcentre and came along for a chat about improving his IT skills which were at that time non-existent.


Ian had always used pen and paper in school and throughout his working life and was very apprehensive about coming into a room full of computers. He commented, "I had always got away without even looking at a computer. I thought if I pressed the wrong key, knowing my luck, I would blow the thing up! But the staff at the Centre were very reassuring and after an initial induction, I enrolled on a basic computer course called Myguide."


Ian liked the clear explanations given as text and a spoken commentary at each stage of the course. He found the step-by-step approach ideal for a complete beginner. In no time at all, Ian was surfing the Internet and setting up a web-based email, encouraged that the tutors were available if he got stuck.


Through this, Ian was able to discover which companies were advertising jobs in the area and send emails with his CV attached to potential employers. He remarked, "Some employers are reluctant to take you on when you have no computer skills whatsoever, as most jobs at some point will require you to use a keyboard and mouse. Although I have still a way to go to be an IT whiz, I have added to my CV that I am updating and improving my computer skills all the time." Ian's commitment has paid off because he has secured a position as a part-time support assistant, and with his new-found confidence he is now considering investing in a home computer.



Donna works and lives locally juggling her time between her family and work commitments.


Donna originally came to the Congleton Learning Centre to brush up her literacy skills as her children had grown up and she felt, "She wanted to do something for herself".


Following her enrolment she completed a programme of learning to work towards a certificate in literacy, and she soon achieved this goal. Donna says that achieving this certificate has increased her confidence in literacy at work, in particular her spelling skills.


Having recently enrolled on a Word Processing course to help her IT skills Donna has already used her new skills at work. Following this she is keen to work towards the European Computer Driving Licence qualification - a qualification which concentrates on using Word, Excel and Powerpoint in the workplace scenario. This she feels will benefit both herself and her employers.


"Staff at the centre have given me the confidence continue my learning because they are all so helpful. Their helpfulness made me want to learn! The environment is happy, welcoming and warm."



Ann, who is now retired and lives in Congleton, enquired at the tourist information centre about night classes for literacy in the town and was directed to the Congleton Learning Centre.


When Ann first came to the Centre she completed an initial assessment to identify her strengths and weaknesses and a programme was developed, with her tutor, according to her individual needs.


As Ann had never used a computer before, she also enrolled on Myguide to develop her IT skills with regard to mouse and keyboard techniques. This then gave Ann confidence to use the computer as her literacy courses were delivered online.


Ann has now successfully achieved her Level 1 and Level 2 literacy qualifications and hopes to now progress on to numeracy.



Glenn was made redundant from a local company two years ago. He initially came to the Learning Centre to learn how to use a computer as a complete beginner.


At the beginning he was worried that he wouldn't be able to cope with the course and found it challenging, but realised he wanted to learn and "Stuck with it, as there was no point sitting indoors moping and feeling sorry for myself"!


Following his beginners course in IT, Glen decided to enrol on courses to improve his literacy skills and in particular his spelling. He believes that he "Got left behind at school as there was no-one to help in those days". Having achieved a Level 1 in Literacy Glenn feels his reading ability is better as he reads more, and he has more interest in quizzes on television as he can answer questions, whereas he never used to bother.


Glenn has now decided to improve his numeracy skills and has already achieved his first certificate moving on to the next level.


Glenn believes that "the staff are brilliant and bend over backwards to help". He is impressed with the new centre as it has more space to move around in and he feels relaxed in the company of people he has met since starting his courses



Sue was concerned that her English skills had lapsed over the years and felt self-conscious, especially about her spelling but did want to attend a formal class because of time and family commitments.


Sue felt the world of IT had left her behind so this was another area she needed to explore. When a friend told her about Congleton Learning Centre, Sue ventured to book an appointment. She has never looked back since.


After an initial assessment and a short beginner's IT course to boost her confidence, Sue embarked on a Level 1 Literacy programme and within a couple of months was ready to take her exam, gaining a national qualification in adult literacy.


Sue said the friendly environment and relaxed atmosphere made learning a pleasure not a trauma. She added, "I love coming to the Centre. The tutors are always on hand if you need them and I can ask as many questions as I like and I'm never made to feel stupid." Sue had always enjoyed reading, but learning about how the English language functions has enhanced her reading experience.


"I am much more critical in my choice of novel now. I have become aware of good and bad writing, and now choose authors I would have passed over before as too challenging." Sue is progressing well having just taken and passed her National Qualification in Adult Literacy at level 2 and intends to take her first maths qualification before the end of the year. "I have such an enjoyment and hunger for learning," she says, "I just want to go on and on."



Sylvia retired 10 years ago just as computers had started to appear but her use of them was specific to the job she was doing.


After 10 years of retirement she felt that she was being left behind by new technology, so encouraged by her family to do something about this, Sylvia contacted Congleton Learning centre to see what was available to her.


She attended the Learning Centre and worked through the Myguide courses provided through UK online. Sylvia then felt motivated to develop her skills further using the IT1 word processing course provided by learndirect. "Learning how to use the computer has opened a whole new world of communication," commented Sylvia.


Sylvia says she found the tutors in the centres helpful and friendly and getting online has made life easier and even saved her money. She continued to say that shortly after using the Myguide course she went on holiday to Louisiana in United States, and while she was there the volcano in Iceland produced an ash cloud which affected air traffic in UK airspace, Sylvia found herself stranded in an unfamiliar hotel and location with the possibility of being there for up to 6 weeks.


The phone call costs were high in the hotel but she was able to use the business centre in the hotel and successfully logged onto her hotmail account that was set up with the help of the tutor during her Myguide sessions. She then successfully communicated with her family to reassure them that she was fine and was able to cancel important appointments that she had arranged in the UK via email too. Sylvia was relieved to be able to do this. She felt confident that she would be able to cope in a difficult situation without undue pressure and her family were reassured with her emails which she sent 3 times a day from the USA.










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