I first came out of hospital in 2001. A nurse told me about a man who was a learner with Lead Scotland. I contacted him and he put me in touch with Annabel Fairweather who was the Lead Co-ordinator based in Elgin in 2003. I got support and started off working through computer basics and then went on to do European Computer Driving Licence.
A number of years later in 2012, my Key Worker from Moray Resource Centre, Alice Duncan, approached me to ask if I would like to go back with Lead again. There was no question. I jumped at the chance. Since meeting Barbara Taylor, Lead Coordinator, I have, under her supervision, achieved a Certificate for refreshing my skills with Access. I then moved on to do the British Computer Society Digital Skills course – again getting a Certificate.
This was a great time for me; I now had something to do. Through Lead and work I have done with them, I now have become a volunteer with the organisation, which I thoroughly enjoy. I support a learner to improve his literacy skills and computer skills.
I have gained a lot of confidence over the past two years, particularly communicating with other people. Through Moray Resource Centre I am also supporting another service user to learn more about how to use the computer. My ambition is to develop this side of my work further. I am willing to go into the Moray Resource Centre on another day to support more learners. It is a very special place for disabled people.
I am also involved with the Speyside Friendship Group and make posters for their Coffee Mornings. I also do the Invitations for the Red Cross Christmas Party, I surf the web, play games, and keep in touch with my friends through Email – but I do not like Facebook!
Anyone who requires a new skill – I would say, go for it – go for it, you have nothing to lose. The more skills you have the better. This keeps the mind active, and healthy.