About the Learning Community
The Learning Community was set up in February 2003 and since then we have supported 1000’s of disadvantaged men and women develop personally.
My name is Karen Shaw and I came to work at The Learning Community as Business Development Manager for 6 months in January 2014. And I am STILL here and CEO! That is because I strongly believe in everything that we do and everyone that we support. Supporting those who need a helping hand sometimes is the best job and I relish every day doing it. I love the fact that some people come to us and engage with our services which results in positive change to their lives.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, you are never too old to learn new skills!
My background of multiple jobs includes 12 years as Contract Account and 15 years working in Project Management before taking up the role of CEO of The Learning Community. Both of which have given me a thorough insight and skills needed to manage a Community Hub.
Inclusivity is in the heart of everything we do here at The Learning Community and everyone is welcome to access our range of services.
Creating fruitful and productive partner relations is what I do best and never before have we needed to work in collaboration as we do at present.
I am a Trustee/Director on a number of Boards focussing on Women In Business, Children’s Education, Homelessness Families and Young People, taking pride in my contribution to good causes and service pathways.
My favourite past time (when I get any) is spent with my wonderful family, walking and drinking very milky tea.
Digital Inclusion Officer
My name is Sam Shaw and I am the Digital Inclusion Officer at The Learning Community.
My role involves delivering IT to those in need in their homes and community hubs. The majority of our referrals come from Rotherham Social Prescribing Advisors and GP Link Workers although we do have some self referrals.
Our learners range from 18 to 97 years old and it is amazing how the older generation are now grasping the concept and benefits of using IT equipment and mobile phones.
I love working with the older generation teaching them about technology, and they all treat me like their granddaughter!!
Community Development Officer
My name is Carolynn Ogden and I am the Community Development Officer here at The Learning Community. My role is to work alongside Karen the Chief Executive by supporting delivery of projects, networking and project need identification.
I have a few volunteering roles in the local community which involve being a Criminal Justice Champion for Victim Support, Parent governor at a local school, I have been a Parish Councillor for 3 years and I also run Wales and Kiveton Uniform Exchange.
I enjoy spending time with my family as a Mum of 4, walking and learning new skills but most of all I really thrive on helping others.
Community Support Officer
Roger has recently joined us as our new Walk Lead. Roger has provided information about the next 8 weeks of wellness walks so please look out for details on our facebook page thelearningcommunity
Roger is all about wellness, mindfullness and enjoying the great outdoors and don't forget for those who want to take pictures whilst out on the walks - you will be put in a draw to see who is the winner of a £150.00 camera in February 2024
"Roger also specialises in personal resilience, having had his own incredible journey of rebuilding his life, after facing major adversity. Hearing Roger's story has made him a hit with our community, the other not for profit organisations he's worked with, and even international audiences."
Mobile: 07388 682589
Meet the Team
Simon founded both The Learning Community and The Careers Exchange in 1991. And for the first few years, The Learning Community operated alongside The Careers Exchange. By 1993 we were running Dinnington’s Job Club and delivering a number of employability programmes for The local Job Centre.
As our work supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged people grew beyond Dinnington right across South Yorkshire’s ex coalfields, the Learning Community grew and developed in to a charitable VCS organisation in its own right, and it became a separate Not-For-Profit company in early 2003.
Until mid 2022 Simon’s main role was the leadership of The Learning Community. Since then Simon has been the non executive Chair of the Trustees, which still keeps him busy.
Simon has three golden Retrievers, loves walking on the Moors, does a bit of athletics, and enjoys river fly fishing in Cumbria, Wales, and Aberdeenshire.
Claire joined The Learning Community in 2010, and has supported a wide range of Employability, Return To Learning, and Teacher Training programmes, as well as becoming Managing Director a couple of years later.
As a professionally qualified Accountant, Claire also led our delivery of Accountancy training qualifications for BTEC and the AAT.
More recently, Claire has concentrated on managing our own finances and accounts, and has returned to the private sector as an Accountant for a number of clients across South and West Yorkshire.
Nowadays, Claire is also one of our Trustees and is the Treasurer of The Learning Community.
Sheila used to work for The Learning Community as a Tutor having spent many years working in Education. Sheila joined the Board as Trustee in 2021
You are more likely to find Sheila strutting her stuff on the stage these days as she is very much into Drama and often has a part in plays at The Rotherham Civic Theatre
Jenny joined us here at The Learning Community as a Volunteer supporting our Community Fridge. She is so passionate about everything that we do Jenny has recently become a Trustee.
Jenny brings with her a wealth of expertise in Education having been a Teacher for many years at a number of Schools in Rotherham to include Dinnington Comprehensive
Meet our Trustees
We are based in the heart of Dinnington, South Yorkshire and work predominantly in the Rotherham Area but also deliver in Doncaster, Barnsley and Sheffield to ensure those in need receive vital support to help remove barriers and aid progression to a more fulfilled and prosperous life. Everything we do is what communities and residents need.
Initially set up as a Training Provider we have successfully delivered Apprenticeships over a number of years however we have worked hard over recent years to become a fully fledge Community Hub and that is how we are recognised and well respected now.
Our Support services include:
Employability Skills Development
Confidence and Motivation
Access to Free online Maths and English tuition
Food In Crisis parcels and Community Fridge access
Loan of IT equipment