For the last three years, POA Learning have been working in partnership with DHA (Direct Help and Advice) in Derbyshire and continue to do so during these difficult times.
Maureen Davison, Head of Training and Communities said "The support that POA Learning have provided to customers accessing our services has been immense. We have been able to provide a wraparound service that has added value to everything we do, benefitting our customers."
DHA provide specialist advice, advocacy and representation for families and individuals facing crisis, to prevent and alleviate homelessness, debt and housing difficulty and have community training centres in Ilkeston and Derby as well as 10 community managed libraries throughout Derby. The centres are accessed by individuals looking to improve their skills, gain knowledge and, often, the very vulnerable, seek the company, help and support of others. POA Learning share the same passion to support these communities.
Maureen continued, "POA Learning have added value to customer journeys and have been consistent throughout our partnership providing quality training and learning in IT as well as mentoring and coaching in employability activities within our community venues."
"We have always received excellent feedback relating to the help and support given by POA Learning and we witness ourselves the individuals confidence improve."
Alan Cook from the POA Learning centre in Nottingham is a regular at the office in Ilkeston supporting learners with their IT skills and during the pandemic this service hasn't stopped with learning continuing online for both customers of DHA and the staff.
"With the majority of staff furloughed, POA Learning have continued to support them with a range of training for Continual Professional Development as well as a range of free courses that individuals can undertake from the comfort of their own homes." Maureen added.
Looking to an uncertain future, Maureen was hopeful of a u-turn from the government on their decision to scrap the Union Learning Fund saying "We have plans to continue to work in partnership with POA Learning and it would be a very sad day if this excellent and diverse service was no longer available. When we consider as a Nation the fallout of Covid_19, services that POA Learning offer will be in great demand to provide individuals with the skills and knowledge that Employers are going to need."
This is yet another positive project that is supported by the Union Learning Fund and it is crucial that this service can remain, not only for those at DHA, but for those across the country.
We urge learners to help support the #SaveUnionLearning campaign by signing the petition and lobbying their local MP. With funding due to cease in March 2021, it's now time to act.