John’s journey with Positive People started in December 2017 when he met Change Coach, Ben, from Pluss at an event at Bridgwater Jobcentre. “[I] spoke to Ben because I previously knew him from another organisation”. A friendly face spurred John on and after hearing how the project works “[he] went away and thought about it”.
At 54, John struggled with his confidence and saw that Positive People would be a great way to help build his confidence back up and get him back out there. He was also trying manage several health conditions that made it tricky to leave the house and meet new people. The gentle and person centric approach of Positive People made John feel comfortable to explore new opportunities and learn new skills.
One of the skills John was keen to learn was digital skills. “[I wanted to] become familiar with the use of computers and digital media… Ben set me up with a lady called Chloe from Positive People”. Chloe is a Digital Training Assistant with Cosmic and was able to offer 1:1 support to help John achieve that goal. They have worked together to develop a level of digital literacy, “[we have done] training in emails – basically how to use the internet, Google Maps, using a smart phone”.
John had identified himself that digital was something he needed help with. He understood that digital was a functional skill in today’s society and that if he was to fulfil his potential, digital understanding was key to that. One of John’s main barriers to learning new skills was his confidence.
Through the sessions together, Chloe encouraged John to trust his instincts and try new things out online. This led to John practicing at home on a smart phone that was previously only used with the support of a neighbour.
Although John’s journey isn’t finished yet he is already seeing the benefit of the support from Positive People. “I feel better about myself, just from what I’ve attended… I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to learn new skills”.
The close partnership work between Pluss and Cosmic has helped to build John’s confidence and trust the services he is working with. They are now helping John to find other services in the local area that he can attend, like the Talking Café, to make sure that John continues to feel supported within his local community.