Looking after the pennies with Cooke e-Learning Foundation

27 Jun 2013 | Written by Emily Redmond


On Wednesday 19th June myself and Alice went to The Cooke e-Learning Foundation in Leicester as part of the evaluation for the Look after the pennies - online course. Created by Good Things Foundation in partnership with Comic Relief, the course was designed especially to help older people manage their finances, so I was really keen to find out what our learners thought about it.

This was my first trip to the centre, and both me and Alice were made to feel very welcome by Training Manager Baz Kanabar and Hitesh, who’s a Digital Champion there. After a tour of the centre which included seeing learners taking part in a cake decorating lesson, we spent some time with a lovely group who were there to take part in the Look after the pennies evaluation with us.

Baz and Hitesh had organised a workshop with the learners and they were just bursting to tell us what they thought of money management and the course so far! After a quick introduction, we kicked off the evaluation by asking the learners to fill out some surveys to find out a bit about how they feel their online and financial confidence and skills are. Then it was time for a chat about what they thought about money management in general and their initial feedback on the course. What really stood out for me was the learners desire to be more informed about money management and to become confident enough to talk about it with others.

It’s obvious that these learners enjoy coming to the centre and see it as just as much a social activity as a learning one. Hitesh (like so many volunteers across the UK online centres network) clearly provides fantastic support for them all, and it was lovely to see how proud Baz and Hitesh are of their centre and its place in the community. Hitesh even said it takes him hours to walk down the road, as he is stopped by so many of his learners along the way that want to say hello.

I’ll be returning to The Cooke e-Learning Foundation at the end of July to catch up with Baz, Hitesh and all the learners about how they have found the Look after the pennies course to feed into our report to Comic Relief. Hopefully this time I won’t have to rush back to Sheffield so I can take up Baz’s kind offer of samosas!