Having been out of work for the last eight months, Melton jobseeker Martin Hack has come along to the Storehouse at The Fox for the first time to get help with searching and applying for jobs online.
Computer sessions are held at the Fox in Leicester Street every Tuesday, 10am-noon, with volunteers on hand to offer help with basic IT skills, job searches, filling out online benefit claims, how to put together or update a CV and put it on a computer, how to set up an email account and other general computer-related tasks.
Unpaid volunteer Rob Duberley, who helps people at the computer sessions, said: “Everything nowadays is being done online which is why we’re so lucky to be able to offer these computer sessions. This is just as important as other services which Storehouse provides but not everyone knows where they can go to get help.
“We’re not experts, it’s just the basics we can help people with to make things easier for them such as filling in forms and job searches.”
Rob explains to Martin how he can make applying for jobs online so much easier by updating his CV and then putting it on a computer to send to potential employers. He even offers him a memory stick which he can eventually put his CV onto.
Martin said: “They’ve got more time for you here. If you go to other places, like the library, to use the computers the staff there have got their own jobs to do.”
A lot of people come to the Storehouse computer sessions for help with job searches, a regular requirement they have to fulfil in return for receiving benefits.
Rob said: “The Department for Work and Pensions is coming down pretty hard on jobseekers having to do job searches once a day at least.
“Melton is also a pilot area for Universal Credit (a new single benefit replacing other out-of-work benefits, with most claims being made online) which is still a very steep learning curve at the moment but we’re slowly getting there.”
Ann Smith, of Melton, has been attending the computer sessions for about the last five weeks.
She said: “I’m rubbish with computers but coming here has helped me. It has also helped me with my reading and spelling as well.
“The volunteers here are brilliant. They don’t look or talk down to you, they talk to you.”
Storehouse regular Tony Moulson, of Melton, added: “I’m computer illiterate so I come on Tuesdays to try and get updated. They help me out and show me what I’m doing wrong.”
As well as helping people to access information online, Storehouse volunteers can also refer people to the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) for help with a range of topics. A CAB adviser is available at the Storehouse at The Fox on every other Friday, 1pm-4pm. No appointment is needed.
n Members of the public who need access to a computer/internet access to look for work or manage their benefits online can use computers, during opening hours, in Melton Council’s Parkside reception, Melton Library in Wilton Road, Melton Carnegie Museum in Thorpe End, Asfordby ICT Centre in the Parish Hall, Main Street, Asfordby, Bottesford Library, Hoby Internet Cafe in Hoby Methodist Church and Somerby Computer Matters in Somerby Methodist Church.