Pause for Thought with Ray Dadswell: Keeping up with the times

When it comes to computers, I admit to being a late starter.

Until about four years ago, my wife dealt with all my emails; then, one Christmas, prompted by weariness, I think, she kindly bought me a laptop. On one occasion since then, I requested of the family an i-pad as a present, but the response was “You already have your computer and a mobile phone”, and they gave me an umbrella.

A person who does know what she is doing with modern technology is Helen McCabe. She has in recent days set up H20 Services at the Seaside Advice Centre, and has quickly established a thriving enterprise, recognised by a national fund as a member of the illustrious group ‘Star People’.

“I was helping people with their websites as a hobby, and, as a community rep on the Eastbourne Strategic Partnership, I met agencies and good causes who appeared not to have the skills to promote their work.”

Helen’s own publicity perfectly expresses her ethos: ‘H20 is a not-for-profit company that seeks to provide help and marketing support for you and your business. Whatever your budget!’

Simple, or more complex, web creations; website training, maintenance and hosting; domain registration; social marketing; translation services – you name, it H20 Services can do it!

Helen is not alone, but has been approached by Sussex College, 3VA and a Trade School in France, amongst other organisations to set up work placements for young people. It is an opportunity to ‘learn on the job’.

A new training course starts in September for 16–19 year-olds, two days a week, with a certificate and reference at the end. (Welcome back, apprenticeships!)

Not to leave out the older generation, of course. Helen is currently looking for funding for classes for the all-important 50-plus group, to enable them to “keep in touch with the family and get over the fear factor”, as she puts it. “It’s a challenge for everyone to keep up-to-date. We have the latest equipment and software.”

A local person who has been benefiting from what H20 Services offers is Andrea, who heard Helen speak at a Big Local meeting, and discovered that work experience was possible.

“I am involved in administration, designing websites, content management, marketing events, press releases ... And the result is that I have found a job! The value of being part of this agency is three-fold: one-to-one tuition, confidence building, networking.”

So, once again, the town’s Christians not only talk about their faith, but do their best to put it into practice by being ‘out there’ where they and their talents can be useful. Helen McCabe is a brilliant example of that, with her winsome, effervescent personality and a business that is week-by-week developing and gaining ground.

Jesus’ words are worth pondering here. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven”(Matthew 5, 16).