Blenheim service user wins learning award for digital skills
A Blenheim service user has received a national award for learning new digital skills and using them to turn her life around.
Margaret won the Learning for Life award in the 2 Millionth Learner Awards, run by tech-for-good charity Good Things Foundation.
After struggling with alcohol problems, Margaret was referred to the Reintegration and Aftercare Lewisham Service (ReAL), a rehabilitation and aftercare service in Lewisham run by Blenheim which supports people in recovery.
There she started IT sessions – beginning with the basics and working hard to improve her skills and gain new confidence.
Her entry was chosen because of her determination and resilience as well as the impact her new skills have had on her life and those around her. Learning new digital skills helped give her something to focus on and continue her recovery journey.
Margaret said: “The team at Blenheim gave me so much support. They helped me start taking control of my own future, and one of the first steps was making sure I knew how to use a computer and the internet.
“It took me a few months but the more confident I got, the more I was able to do online. I could do my shopping online and sort out things with the doctors. It helped me with my reading and writing, and I started to feel independent and in control again.
“The help I was given and the new skills I’ve gained have changed my life. They’ve given me life. They’ve brought my family back together, made them proud of me. They’ve made me proud of myself. For that, I can’t say thank you enough.”
Margaret received her certificate at a prestigious ceremony on Wednesday 1 February at the BT Tower in London, attended by representatives from across the digital inclusion world.
Denell Dema, Service Manager at ReAL, said: “We are all incredibly proud of Margaret at ReAL and this award is well-deserved. Learning new digital skills has enhanced her recovery journey and we’re delighted that her hard work and determination has been recognised.”