Learning Champions

Reach Community Learning project has two dedicated Learning Champions to give you support and information to get on the right course for you.


Gill Dyal is a Learning Champion who can often be found in and around the area meeting and chatting to local people. Gill is there to help you find the right course for you, either in your local community or citywide. So why not give her a ring and find out what you could be doing. To contact Gill ring her on 0114 239 4466 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Gill says "Im the Lead Learning Champion for Lowedges, Batemoor, Jordanthorpe and Gleadless Valley. I am here to help find out and organise courses that local people want to do in their area. My role is to offer information, advice and guidance to help learners find suitable courses available in the local area.

I started off as a learner on beginners course several years ago, which I found interesting and it also helped me to socialise with other people as I'd been isolated for a couple of years due to illness. I still remember how I felt at that first session, going to a strange place and feeling out of my depth. What on earth did I think I was doing trying to learn how to use a computer? It was the best thing I ever did and it changed the direction of my life forever - I used to work with horses!"

In 2015 Reach was lucky enough to secure the employment of Wesley Peters as Learning Champion to work alongside Gill.

In June 2015, I applied for a Learning Champion role at Reach and was very pleased when I was offered the job. A few months in and I'm still learning new things every day and the team at Reach Community Learning are a great bunch. My role is to be a point of contact for learners and tutors, offering support and ideas for courses, helping in any way needed really! No two days are ever the same and the work is very rewarding. It's nice to go home at the end of the day, feeling a sense of achievement.

I come from an electronics background originally, moving onto computers. I'd been self-employed for a while as a PC technician then found myself unemployed and became lacking in self-confidence. I tried to find some work in the Charity sector, hopefully in my field and did, as a Digital Champion. Tackling digital inclusion, I help people from all walks of life feel more confident using modern technology. This gives me the ability to share my knowledge and gain some new skills. I have also used these opportunities to develop my knowledge of other cultures in Sheffield I otherwise wouldn't have experienced.

Not sure if learning is for you? See if you can recognise yourself in the list below:

  • You've just moved into the area and want to make new friends
  • Maybe you're retired and have more time on your hands to learn new skills
  • You've been at home for a while bringing up the kids but fancy a bit of time to yourself to update your qualifications and make new friends
  • You've been ill and stuck in the house not seeing anyone
  • You're not working and are bored stiff
  • Or maybe you're doing a job you dislike and want to re-train or just want to get your first job and show what you can really do in life
  • Perhaps you just woke up one day and wanted to change something about your life - put the past behind you

Getting back into learning can be one answer especially when IT'S FUN, IT'S FREE and IT'S NEAR YOU!

But how can a Learning Champion help me?

  • Meeting with you to discuss your individual needs
  • Finding a course to suit you
  • Helping arrange and pay for childcare
  • Going with you to your first class
  • Coming to speak to your group about courses
  • Listening to find out what training and learning opportunities you would like in your area
  • Trying to make sure that courses take place at a time and venue that fits in with your life
  • Signposting you to other people or organisations which can help you access learning and training both citywide and locally

Here is Amanda's story.