United Response’s e-learning programme comes out on top at Charity Learning Awards

The national disability charity, United Response, has won a Charity Learning Award for reaching out to employees and developing their skills with e-learning.

United Response took the decision to introduce online learning last year, as a way of reducing training costs for its 3,000 staff, who are based in 200 locations around the country. Just eight months later, the organisation successfully launched its new e-learning programme, which it is offering alongside more traditional face-to-face training.

Judges from the Charity Learning Consortium were impressed by the well thought out marketing campaign, ran by United Response’s Learning and Development Team, which helped staff adapt to the shift in learning culture and ensured take-up of the new programme. This included local roadshows; appointment of eLearning champions; IT training courses to boost computer confidence; and built-in flexibility, which means that staff can even complete training from home. This resulted in one frontline member of United Response staff recently tweeting: "I am LOVING the E-Learning that @unitedresponse has brought in. So much easier 😀 "

Martin Baker, CEO and founder of the Charity Learning Consortium said : “This is an inspirational example of what can be achieved with a well thought out campaign to market eLearning within an organisation. United Response realistically assessed the challenges that it faced, and then took positive steps to meet them.”

Natasha Furness, Learning & Development Officer at United Response said:

“As a nationwide organisation it is often challenging to implement such radical changes, and we knew this. Because of the steps that we took to counteract this, our new approach to learning was received very positively from employees across the organisation.”

Speaking about the benefits of elearning, Natasha added:

“There are certainly cost saving benefits to the organisation which mean that in this difficult economic climate, we are ahead of the game and prepared to continue offering the same quality of support.”

“The time that eLearning has saved, as employees spend less time away from the work place, also means we can offer more support to our clients.”

 “It is important to recognise however that eLearning alone is not the solution – the learning we offer still requires a blended approach and face to face training is always going to be a vital means for delivering some training.”

For more information, please contact Sarah Bartlett or Jaime Gill in the United Response Press Office on 020 8246 5237/ 020 8246 5122 or email sarah.bartlett@unitedresponse.org.uk or jaime.gill@unitedresponse.org.uk

Notes to editors:

United Response is a national charity that works with people with learning disabilities, mental health needs or physical disabilities – including some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Our vision is a society where disabled people are equal participants and have access to the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

United Response is community based, working in many localities across England and Wales. We are a top 50 national charity with a turnover of over £60 million, employing more than 2,500 staff and working with around 2,000 people at any one time.

We provide everything from 24 hour care to a few hours of support a week. Our support is always designed around each person because we know one size does not fit all. Some people may require minimal support; those with complex needs may require considerably more.

We plough our resources back into ensuring the quality of the support we provide, particularly in training, and have been shortlisted for ten major awards in three years, winning a National Training Award. We are pioneers in the areas of communications and inclusion, with particular expertise in communicating in a simple and accessible way. We have worked with the Government and many major financial services organisations on making politics and financial information understandable for people with learning disabilities.

To find out more about United Response’s work go to www.unitedresponse.org.uk