Tech charity helps young mum follow her dream of becoming a teacher

A WOULD-BE teacher whose life was rocked by tragedy is following her dream after benefiting from a tech-based charitable scheme.

Victoria Cleaves, of Maltby, was just 23 when she lost her partner in a car accident, leaving her to raise their baby son alone.

But the mum is now getting her life back on track, with help from the Laptops for All scheme, which has provided her with a free computer to support with her studies.

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Now 31, Victoria is taking part in a South Yorkshire Housing Association programme run in association with the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority to help people achieve their employment ambitions.

The Good Work Skills programme offers support to people aged 25 and over who are unemployed and have a health condition or are experiencing low mental wellbeing.

Victoria is taking English, maths and foundation learning courses in preparation for a university degree.

Laptops for All, founded by technology entrepreneur David Richards, has supplied computers to South Yorkshire Housing Association to assist the Good Work Skills programme.

Victoria said: “The laptop has been a lifesaver.

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“I have been doing online courses and it means I don’t have to work on my phone and fall behind.

“It is helping me to get further in my studies to the point where I will be ready to take exams.

“I have been looking for work for a long time but have struggled to find something that fits in around the school hours.

“It’s why I have gone back to college.

“I want to be a teacher in the long run because I have always loved being with children.

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“I want to show my son that you can achieve your goals, whatever setbacks you might experience in life.”

Victoria, who has dyslexia, said she was making good progress in her studies and finding it quite easy to work with a computer.

She aims to pass a degree, find work as a teaching assistant and then become a primary school teacher.

Georgina Gray, employment specialist at South Yorkshire Housing Association, said: “Victoria is a remarkable young woman and we are very proud of her as she grows in confidence and resilience.

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“We’re very grateful to Laptops for All for its support in providing devices for our learners, which is enabling them to develop their skills and achieve their employment goals.”

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