Arriving in the UK with no internet connection
Amer came to the UK as an asylum seeker just over a year ago. When he arrived in the country he did not have any way to access the internet, leaving him locked out of job opportunities, connecting with loved ones and other essential online services.
Amer registered with college to improve his English and skills, but he needed a digital device in order to complete coursework and create presentations. Struggling to get by without a device or an internet connection, he began searching for support. He came across Job4Me, a Digital Inclusion Hub and community organisation in Gateshead that supports people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to move a step closer to employment.
A turning point: free data and a device
At Job4Me, Amer was given a free laptop from the National Device Bank and free mobile data from the National Databank, enabling him to finally access the online world and all the benefits it has to offer. This helped Amer to complete his English course and settle into life in the UK, he used his device to make crucial appointments and speak with his GP, something he couldn’t do before.
Amer improved his digital skills using Learn My Way, with support from staff and volunteers at Job4Me. He says “Learn My Way taught me how to use my GP’s website, the Home Office website and how to make an appointment online.”
From beneficiary to volunteer
After finishing his English course, Amer wanted to help other people at Job4Me who needed support to get online. Amer volunteers his time to teach other people digital skills, he says, “helping people makes me very happy”.
Amer has just moved into a new house in Gateshead and has begun studying Level 2 Health and Social Care, Functional Skills in English and Maths with Newcastle college. Amer passed all of his exams last year and is searching for work and studying hard, both of which his free device and internet connection are helping him to do.
Amer’s leave to remain in the UK is now secured and he feels that this volunteer experience in supporting people to learn digital skills will bolster his job prospects.