Over the last few months, we’ve been delighted to have Wayne’s support as a volunteer at The Turing Trust. Wayne recently secured a new job at an electronics company in Livingston, so in celebrating this, we sat down to hear his story as he begins this new chapter.
So Wayne, first of all, what brought you to volunteer with The Turing Trust?
To be honest, I had thought about volunteering before, but I’d put it off (really wish I hadn’t). After being unemployed for over 2 years, I thought to myself “OK! you’ve got all this time on your hands Wayne, do something positive, do something you’ll enjoy.”
I Googled volunteering, and I recognised the name: The Turing Trust. I knew roughly what the Trust did and what it stood for, so I looked into it further. I was a little put off at first as the Trust was a bit far from my home here in Livingston. But because the Trust was more than happy to reimburse my travelling expenses, this sealed the deal or so to speak. And after all, who can refuse free coffee, tea and bikkies alongside volunteering, right!
All the staff (especially Audrey) at the computer donation charity plus the other volunteers were just lovely, always pleasant and always willing to help if you had questions.
And how did you find it volunteering with us?
I found it really rewarding firstly because knowing that every donated PC and laptop I worked on is now helping children develop their IT skills and giving them a better chance in life. I also found the work itself very interesting. I had in the past built PCs, but that was decades ago and technology has moved on since then, so working on some newer (and some quite old!) IT equipment helped me to get back up to date. In particular, I enjoyed learning a bit more about Linux and Ubuntu operating systems as well as methods for secure wiping.
I found the Trust’s workshop a really good place for me to test myself, as I have a physical disability due to an accident a few years ago. After plenty of recovery at home, having the workshop as a place I could go and get used to doing work activities again gave me confidence in what I could do in a safe manner. The nurturing atmosphere in the workshop was really good for this as I always knew that if something looked a bit awkward for my disability all I had to do was say and someone would be ready to help out.
And tell us a bit about your new, exciting job?
I now work for an electronics company here in Livingston as a Production Technician. I’m not working on PCs specifically, but on supporting the design and manufacturing of standard and bespoke high-frequency innovative precision range of advanced clock modules which provide electrical timing functionality for distributed network systems. So I’m very much still in the technology industry.
I asked my new boss when I started whether my volunteering at the Trust had influenced their decision on hiring me, and they said yes it had contributed a bit. Certainly, after volunteering for a bit I personally felt a bit more confident, and keen to find some work in the technology industry.
So if anyone reading this is anything like me, you like tinkering with PCs and you enjoy plenty of coffee, tea and biscuits then I would say volunteering a few hours per week at The Turing Trust would be a great fit for you.