Martin Allman

Martin working on his computerCase Study of Martin Allman: My story of a journey to success:

I started at St James House, Karten Centre as a student in March 2004. At the time, I was low in confidence and had no structure to my day. I also found it difficult to talk to people and participate in other projects that were going on at the time because of my short attention span. My aim however was to increase my confidence and develop work-based skills.

I was inspired by my tutor, Ryan Tebbit, at St James House, The way he taught me about IT was a revelation, and it was Ryan who encouraged me to take up the role of teaching in the mental health sector.

As time went on, I found that my confidence grew and I was able to help other people who were on the same IT project. Not only did I find satisfaction in learning the syllabus, but also in interacting with others and sharing my knowledge and skills.

Later on when I had finished the IT project, I was asked if I wanted to join the IT team as a Permitted Work Placement. I saw this as a great opportunity to pass on what I had learnt to other students, and to constructively utilise my new skills and confidence.

While undertaking the Permitted Work Placement at St. James’s House, I also studied for the ECDL qualification and the City and Guilds in delivering learning. These 2 courses were vital for me to progress into teaching but it was St James House which gave me the real inspiration I needed to become an IT trainer.

During my time as a Permitted Work Placement, I had the opportunity to take part in some exciting projects. One of these was the “Internet Roadshow” – an innovative project in which we would take laptops to a day centre and support service users to access the World Wide Web. We also established a project called Club Internet where we supported service users to utilise the internet for fun and everyday means, such as setting up an email account, booking a holiday, downloading music etc.

Three years on, I am now delighted to say that I have been employed as an Assistant It Trainer at St. James’s House. Thanks to the support of the staff team, the resources donated by The Ian Karten Charitable Trust and being in the right place at the right time, I have been able to make my dreams come true. In the space of three years I have come full circle – from Trainee to Trainer, doing what I love the most – utilising and teaching IT!