Voluntary Sector Focus: Rob Allen, Director, Sian Computers Community Initiative CIC - Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council

by James Clarke
4 months ago
458 Views

 

Tell us about your organisation, how you started and what you do?

Sian Computers was established and started trading 8 years ago to serve the local communities. We sell and repair IT equipment such as laptops, mobile phones, gaming consoles and have a range of accessories; for example phone cases, cables, chargers, plugs etc. and we offer printing services.

In the true sense of business growth and development, on the 24th May 2017 Sian Computers also registered as a Community Interest Company, known as Sian Computers Community Initiative CIC, which operates independently of Sian Computers. Its sole purpose is to serve the community.

We are also an internet café and a gaming centre. We host gaming tournaments for young people which have proven to have a positive effect with the learners, parents and local community organisations. Prior to Covid-19, our gaming tournaments were very popular, they supported young people with their social and communication skills giving them a place in which they could feel comfortable and have fun in a safe ambient environment.

Alongside its partners, CEAL (Community Education Academy of Leadership) and GEDS (Global Entrepreneurial Development Services), a trio-partnership was formed. This partnership is keen to make a significant contribution towards youth employability policy initiatives to reduce the impacts of institutional unjustness meted out against under-30s in particular, across the cultural, economic, ethnic and social spectrum.

What has been your greatest achievement?

During the Covid-19 situation, one of our greatest achievements has been supporting a young child in the local community. The child was doing their online learning classes with the school; near the end of one of the lessons the computer froze. The child’s mother brought the laptop to Sian and we managed to repair it in time before the next session for the child that day. This is one of the main reasons Sian is proud to be serving the community in their hour of need.

What is your experience of support received from WVSC?

WVSC have always made themselves available to support me and my organisation by way of offering general advice and support grants available e.g. Police & Crime Commissioner funding. I have built a good working relationship over the years with WVSC and consider them as being part of my support network.

During Covid 19, as we are an essential service, we were able to legally stay open and operate. WVSC provided PPE masks which was much appreciated. They shared useful information to keep us updated on government and local authority initiatives in relation to Covid 19.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Wolverhampton?

The most valuable lesson we have learnt and are continuing to learn about working with people in Wolverhampton is learning how to listen. We have listened to what our customers wanted and shaped training programmes to fit their needs. So we designed the training program called the Pre-Apprenticeship Program (PAP).

The Trio-partnership has been delivering the training programme online since the start of Covid-19 in 2019.  Sian Computers is an essential service so we have been able to trade and deliver practical on-site IT training for young people to complement the online theory sessions. We are Covid-19 compliant in accordance with government and local authority guidance whilst carrying out our services.

What are some of the challenges you face and how can WVSC help to support your organisation in the future?

Some of the challenges we face are around sharing our information with other organisations. We would welcome and appreciate any support from WVSC in:

  • Marketing Sian Computers CIC as a training provider and sharing our training courses.
  • Marketing Sian Computers to raise our profile in Wolverhampton as an IT sales and repair centre, internet cafe and gaming centre.

Where can we find out more?

For more information, please visit our website: www.laptop repair wolverhampton.co.uk and contact Rob Allen, Director, Sian Computers Community Initiative CIC by email: robgallen01@gmail.com

 

Would you like to be featured in our Voluntary Sector Focus? Contact Sharon Nanan-Sen on snanan-sen@wolverhamptonvsc.org.uk for more info!