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March 2012
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Bob Little has been writing
and commentating on
technology based training,
including e-learning, since 1990.
His work has been published
across three continents, in the USA,
Europe and Australia as well as
in UK-based publications,
making him unique as a
commentator on the worldwide
e-learning scene.

If you would like to make
a comment on anything that is
- or isn't - in this blog,
or if you would like to suggest a topic
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Friday, March 9 2012 09:40:31

Chaplains to the Emergency Services wanted

Workplace Matters (WM), a charity which has over 50 years’ experience providing chaplaincy to a wide range of organisations within the private, not-for-profit and public sectors, is launching a recruitment drive for people to serve as chaplains to the emergency services in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

Most of WM’s chaplains – who give up between two and four hours each week to visit people at work - are drawn from practising Christians, either lay or ordained, who are connected to a recognised church. However, there are some Jewish, Muslim, Humanist and even Pagan workplace chaplains – to cater for the diversity of faiths represented in today’s Police, Fire and Ambulance services – and WM would be happy to hear from would-be chaplains of these faiths too.

Candidates need excellent social skills; should enjoy meeting people; be able to listen effectively; be cheerful, and be willing to learn how an organisation works. They also need to be able to work as part of a team and be sensitive to the many issues that arise in the workplace.

“Chaplains offer friendship and a listening ear to individuals and to organisations,” explained the Rev Tony Ruffell, WM’s Senior Emergency Services Chaplain in Hertfordshire. “They need to be available to all, regardless of religion or race, and they support staff of any faith - and none. In the current challenging economic situation, which is affecting the lives of all of us, workplace chaplains are more important than ever. And, with the Olympics coming up – and the consequent likely increase in emergency services’ activity especially in this area – there is a greater need than ever for people, both ordained and lay, to serve as chaplains.”

WM’s chaplains operate anywhere where people work but, primarily, they operate within the emergency services - in police stations, among fire and ambulance teams and so on - in the manufacturing industry; especially at Vauxhall Motors in Luton; in the ‘town centre retail’ environment; with those living and working along the Grand Union Canal, and at London Luton Airport.

If you would like to volunteer to become part of the chaplaincy team, contact WM at 41 Holywell Hill, St Albans, AL1 1HE (tel 01727 818144) or email workplacematters@stalbans.anglican.org and/or tonyruffell@live.co.uk

Comment: These chaplains perform not only an impressive and extremely valuable role but it’s a role that is highly valued by those to whom they minister. There’s always room for more chaplains – so that the benefit that they bring can reach more and more people.



Friday, March 9 2012 09:36:42

Champagne flows for e2train

E-Learning Age, the magazine which organises the UK’s E-Learning Awards has announced that e2train – the supplier of learning, performance, talent management and succession planning technologies - has signed up as exclusive sponsors of the event’s champagne reception.

The E-Learning Awards (www.elearningage.co.uk/categories.aspx) – which, this year, incorporate 17 categories - are open to anyone around the world. Last year, they attracted entries from over 17 different countries and from organisations of all sizes.

Comment: In these challenging economic times, it’s always encouraging to find a company in the learning technologies world that is more than happy to let the champagne flow freely.




Recycled computers for autistic Matthew

Waste King, the environmentally-friendly specialist collections, clearance and recycling company, has found an unusual outlet for it to recycle old computers. It has given a number of old computers – discarded by its customers – to Matthew, a young man who has severe autism and a complete fascination with computers. Matthew will take these computers apart and re-build them - purely for therapeutic purposes - because doing this helps him to cope with his condition.

Waste King became aware of Matthew and the way that he copes with his condition when Waste King’s managing director, Glenn Currie, met Paul Morris, a Community Support Worker, working with the South East Oxfordshire Community Mental Health Trust. Currie commented: “When Paul told us about Matthew and how the discarded computers that we collect can help him cope with his autism, Waste King was delighted to help.

“For one thing, Waste King guarantees to recycle at least 85 per cent of all the waste it collects – and giving the computers to Matthew goes towards the company continuing to live up to its extremely demanding environmentally-friendly targets. For another, children and young people with autism need to be encouraged to enjoy learning experiences tailored to their very specific requirements.

“According to the National Autistic Society, there are over 500,000 people with autism in the UK - that is one in 100,” he added. “Together with their families, that is over two million people whose lives are touched by autism every single day. If Waste King can do something – however small – to help these people get more out of life, it’s delighted to do so.”

Comment: This may be a novel way of recycling old computers but it seems to be being hugely beneficial. Congratulations to Waste King for its creativity and imagination in finding this recycling solution.