Free online learning resources
Online courses are a convenient and flexible way to learn.
My Jobs Scotland have launched new free training courses through several organisations.
contains a number of free on line courses in different subjects
taking a course doesn't have to be costly, and reed.co.uk features a wide range of Free on line courses.
The website above contains learning resources where you can develop life skills.
Reading and Writing
This site contains resources to help adults improve their reading, writing and number skills. Level one and entry level three literacy and numeracy resources and worksheets
The Irish National Adult Literacies Agency website contains a wide range of resources to help develop adult literacy skills.
This site contains hints and tips to develop reading skills for both adults and adults supporting their children with reading.
This is a comprehensive website for those who want to improve their own or their children’s numeracy skills and also at practitioners who need classroom resources.
This site contains a self-assessment tool which allows you to identify your numeracy strengths and weaknesses.
This site contains over 6000 free printable maths worksheets (with answers) on all areas of numeracy.
English for Speakers of other Languages
This site contains free printable resources for teaching and learning English. There are worksheets for students both young and old, and of all levels of proficiency.
This is a website that contains lessons for ESOL beginners on different topics to help practise their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.
Free English lessons online for all levels of ESOL learner.
This site provides free teaching resources for beginner levels of ESOL
This site lists the top 10 best sites for free online computer training, it is best to go and look at what is there to find a site that suits your own needs
General Learning Websites
FutureLearn is a digital education platform founded in December 2012. The company is wholly owned by The Open University in Milton Keynes, England. The site has free online courses in many different subjects.
This is one of many sites that will help you to prepare for the CSCS card required on all industrial sites.
This is one of many sites that will help you to prepare for the driving theory test.
This site is provided by Skills Development Scotland; it is primarily aimed at school leavers but can be of assistance to older people looking for a change in direction.
Support for Adult literacies
BBC Skillswise offers free materials for adult learners including Communication and Numeracy topics
Khan Academy allows free access to a number of short videos and computer marked practice questions including topics relating to Numeracy (see Arithmetic and Pre-Algebra section).
iTunes U contains a huge range of free and paid for content across all sorts of subjects
If you are a parent or carer you may be eligible for supportive grants through Social Security Scotland. Please see more information at the relevant links below.
· Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment
· Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment
· Best Start Grant School Age Payment
· Best Start Foods
· Carer's Allowance Supplement
· Young Carer Grant
· Funeral Support Payment
While our horticulture students can't attend tutorials either at the Learning Centre or at Falachan Cothrom, some of our staff are looking after this years seedlings to ensure we get a harvest.
You can access free courses from Business and Administration to Nutrition and Health at Reeds:
Follow thins link: https://www.reed.co.uk/courses/free
Food bank access
The Uist and Barra food bank have a network to deliver food parcels as far as Eriskay. To access this, please contact Janet at the Uist and Barra food bank on 01870 603819, through firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the 'contact us' section on uistbarra.foodbank.org.uk.
Resources for parents
This is a great website with loads of activities and ideas, and lesson ideas for parents with fantastic plans for numeracy, literacy, even subjects like geography built around the concept of healthy eating. There are also good recipes to try. It also gives parents ideas on how to structure their day in terms of setting routines and planning learning. There are also resources and support for teachers.
Another good one is parent club. This has information on healthy diet, as well as information on how to navigate the tricky waters of lockdown with children!
Whether you are a current, past, or prospective learner with Cothrom, we'd love to know how we can make learning during social distancing easier.
If you have any resources you'd like to share with us and other learners, or if you have any other feedback, please don't hesitate to let us know.
Please see information below in regards to service provision by some of our partners.
Western Isles Citizen Advice Service
This covers all 4 CAB offices in the Western Isles (Barra, Uist, Harris, Lewis)
Hebridean housing partnership
HHP are currently trying to deliver services in as near a normal manner as possible but arrangements are changing as the Government continue to issue and update advice. If the virus spreads to the islands this will require further changes to be made. The safety of our customers, staff and contractors is of paramount importance. We have therefore taken the following measures at this time:
• Many of our staff are now working from home but all staff are available by phone or email. Please contact us on 0300 123 0773 or email on email@example.com Visits to our offices must be avoided unless pre-arranged for essential business. Please help us to adhere to the guidance on social distancing by avoiding any unnecessary contact. These measures are to minimise risk to you and our staff.
• Please, advise us if you have any concerns regarding your health when you contact us. We will ask you some questions regarding this. We are particularly mindful of those identified as being most at risk and we will take all possible measures to reduce this risk if a visit to your home is required e.g. to carry out essential repair work.
Paying your Rent
• We know that this is a time of great uncertainty and worry for many. If you are worried about being able to make rent payments please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your situation. We will do all we can to help. It is very important that we have information on the effect that the current crisis is having on households so that we can work with the Government and other agencies to deal with this.
• If you currently pay your rent in cash, we would ask that you make alternative arrangements in the meantime. This is again to reduce the risk of infections spreading. Please use Paypoint or card payments or online payments. Please phone us if you want to discuss this. We may also contact you to discuss this further.
Help and Support
• If you have other concerns or are feeling worried about the current situation and have no support then please contact us. We will try to assist where possible or give you details of services that might be able to help.
• We all have a responsibility not to place others at risk so we would ask that, if possible, requests for repairs or other services are restricted to those that are most urgent at this stage.
• We are working with our contractors to make sure that necessary repairs are carried out. However we will put additional measures in place to protect operatives and tenants.
• We will continue to post updates, on our website http://www.hebrideanhousing.co.uk and on our Twitter page @HebHousing.
tighean innse gall
COVID-19 has placed a great strain on our community with many frightened for their loved one’s safety and wellbeing. TIG are a community benefit society and everything we do must be for the benefit of our island communities. Here are the details of how we are continuing to serve our communities currently whilst helping to ensure the safety of the people we serve and our staff.
Our staff are now able to support people whilst working from home. We will now:
How to contact TIG:
Our activities bring several millions of pounds of funding into our islands and we will do our utmost to keep these vital funds incoming. Mindful of our policy of supporting local contractors to deliver measures, adaptations for the disabled and other alterations to homes, we will start work again as soon as is practical and safe for all concerned.
We continue to work with our partners including through the Outer Hebrides Community Planning Partnership to provide services and are working behind the scenes to support community efforts. Any partner who has ideas about helping clients and want TIG to be involved, or ask for support should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 07741652612.
TIG Energy advice team update:
The current Ofgem guidance states that no credit customers are going to be disconnected during the pandemic. They will do everything they can to support those on prepayment meters too. If
prepayment customers are not able to top up, please ask family members or friends if they can help you.
If you have any issues, for example, you are not able to afford to pay your bill or you can’t leave
the house, then you need to contact your supplier immediately. Any customer in financial distress
will be supported by their energy supplier and that could mean their debt repayments or bill
payments being reassessed, reduced or paused during this time.
Comhairle nan eilean siar homelessness service
The Comhairle’s Homelessness Service continues to operate for anyone who is homeless or threatened with homelessness.
We will provide advice, temporary accommodation and support as required.
Please contact 01851 822821 (for Lewis and Harris) or 01870 602425 (for Uist and Barra) during standard office hours, and 01851 701702 for emergencies out of hours.
More information is available on the Comhairle’s website at www.cne-siar.gov.uk/housing/homelessness
comhairle nan eilean siar financial inclusion service
The Comhairle Financial Inclusion Service remains operational albeit in a reduced capacity. Financial Inclusion Officers, Margaret Graham (Lewis & Harris) and Angela MacDonald (Uist & Barra) are contactable through phone and email. Should you wish to contact the service for any advice or assistance with regards to benefit entitlement, application processes or signposting to partnership organisations, details are as follows:
The Scottish Welfare Fund remains open offering Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants to people facing exceptional pressures (subject to eligibility). The link below leads to the Scottish Welfare Fund application form which can be emailed to email@example.com
For further information and assistance, details are as follows:
Recent changes in circumstances may result in increased eligibility for Council Tax Reduction. For an eligibility check to entitlement, contact either the Benefits Office or the Financial Inclusion Service for assistance.
The links below lead to the online and paper application forms:
For further advice and assistance, contact either the Benefits Office or the Financial Inclusion Service using the details below:
The following websites and local media provide useful information on the current situation locally: