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Project information

YMCA Central Herts Community Computer suite

The project is open to the whole community and particularly benefits those wanting to improve & update their IT skills, job search skills and learn how to use the Internet and digital and social media.


Charity information: YMCA Central Herts

YMCA Central Herts logo
  • Need


    The area has one of the highest number of young people aged 16-24 who are NEET in Hertfordshire (Connexions February 2011); one of the lowest percentage in the county of pupils achieving 5+ A*-C at GCSE or equivalent & is more than 5% below the national average (Department for Education 2011).There is a need for a community learning centre that offers free courses & training to local people, particularly as the town doesn’t have a LearnDirect centre or Jobcentre Plus.


    It’s near to the town centre & our facilities & most courses are offered free of charge & provide a relaxed & informal learning environment. We deliver training to increase beneficiaries IT skills, knowledge & communication skills such as email/Internet. We also deliver Beginner, Refresher & Intermediate Workshops, Word, Excel, Power Point, Publisher etc or an accredited course – City & Guilds Functional Skills Maths, English & ICT or CLAIT (partnership with YMCA Training & Oaklands College).

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To attract 150 new students learning additional skills


    » Develop new courses to extend our provision to more Intermediate level;
    » Develop new courses to engage young people by using their feedback
    » To work in partnership with our YMCA Space centres to extend our provision of Beginners Workshops
    » Hold two open days inviting members of the public to come in and use our facilities

    What success will look like

    Success will be...achieved through monitoring the number of new learners enrolled on and completing one of our in house courses or online basics training

    Aim 2

    To ensure that 90% of our students have developed new skills


    » Use a star evaluation tool for all our courses
    » Collate information from evaluation tools at the end of every term to ensure 90% of students move at least 2 steps on their star evaluation
    » Collect evidence of student’s work in a portfolio
    » Supporting approximately 30-40 adults with learning disabilities by developing their IT confidence, basic numeracy & literacy skills a year

    What success will look like

    Success will be...achieved through monitoring & measuring their progress in developing new skills and confidence.

    Aim 3

    To celebrate the success and recognise achievement and effort of all our students


    » To award certificates to all students
    » To work in partnership with Oaklands College and YMCA Training to offer accredited courses
    » To hold an end of year celebration for all current and former students

    What success will look like

    Success will be...achieved through the number of students who complete a course and also monitoring the number who progress to further training, employment or volunteering.

    Aim 4

    To provide meaningful volunteering opportunities


    » To provide relevant training and development for our volunteers working in partnership with Oaklands College
    » To increase the number of courses taught by volunteers
    » To ensure full consultation of volunteers in the management of the project
    » To implement our volunteer policy and hold regular volunteer reviews

    What success will look like

    Success will be...retaining and increasing the number of volunteers and the range of activities they are involved with.

  • Impact


    Improved access to formal & informal learning for the community in a friendly & accessible environment. Success of this project will be demonstrated by the number of students enrolling & completing a course, number of courses offered & the numbers who have progressed onto further training, education, employment &/or volunteering opportunities.
    We will work closely with local partners to track the progress of students & will measure success through both student and volunteer feedback.


    There is a risk that those enrolled on courses may not complete the course, although to date the drop- out rate is relatively low. This issue is addressed by running new courses every four weeks & offering beneficiaries flexible times to attend the course.


    Donors to this project will receive a quarterly report on the project detailing the ongoing & future activities, case studies & any necessary changes that have been made to the project plans.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £49,538

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £27,099 Staff & volunteer costs Computer Centre Manager Salary & on costs & volunteer expenses
      £2,500 Consumables Stationery and Ink cartridges
      £5,275 Utilities & Marketing Electricity, Telephone & broadband, postage & flyers
      £3,153 Support & equipment IT Support, Computer software & hardware
      £2,477 Staff & volunteer costs Staff & volunteer training, travel & refreshments
      £2,582 Other costs Irrecoverable Vat & depreciation
      £6,452 Overheads Management, central adminstration costs, audit
  • Background


    Welwyn Hatfield in Hertfordshire, which has a population of approximately 112,800 (Office for National Statistics 2009). Whilst Hertfordshire appears to be an affluent county, this perception contrasts greatly with some significant areas of social deprivation. Welwyn Hatfield has 7 wards which are in the 10-20% of the most deprived in the region and is the fourth most deprived district in Hertfordshire (Index of Multiple Deprivation 2007).


    The project will benefit & is open to all members of the community, & will particularly benefit people with low level skills, unemployed people, offenders & those at risk of offending,
    homeless people, adults with learning disabilities and/or mental health problems, young people not in employment, education & training (NEET) & 50+ learners.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We’ve over 40 years of experience working with the community & held the Investors in People standard for 6 years. We’ve recruited over 20 volunteers to support the running of the project & the delivery of the training, including many former beneficiaries. We work closely in partnership with other organisations including Oaklands College & YMCA Training & the local Learning Forum, Community Groups, local libraries, JobCentre Plus & Employment Agencies. We are registered as a UK Online Centre.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Jo Franks

    Manager - a former teacher, her knowledge & teaching style allow people to learn at their own pace are key to delivering the project aims.

    Tony Flowers

    Volunteer - studying a computer science degree and teaches Beginner, Refresher & Intermediate Workshops

    Helen Collins

    Volunteer- teaches digital photography to groups of learners on a voluntary basis and the project benefits from her creativity.

    Mandy Chappell

    Volunteer- assist students out with functional skills, she also works as a part time classroom assistant and aims to train as a teacher