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Every year we produce our Social Impact Report. Filled with Case Studies, statistics and stories, our report captures the range of work that Cosmic has achieved over the previous year.

“12 months ago, I could send an email and do a Word document... and that was pretty much it!”.

One year on since March 2020 and Jacqui is speaking live on BBC Radio Devon, explaining her Digital journey: “The Zoom calls have been a massive hit, helping me to keep in touch with my clients and family”. 

Jacqui Reid runs one of Slimming World’s 10,000 strong weight-loss support groups in Britain. She set up Slimming World Okehampton, in Devon, after attending another group herself. She successfully lost 4 stone 2 pounds through the programme of dietary, health and wellbeing support, and thought, “I wanted to help other people do that”. Unfortunately, the impact of Covid-19 and lockdown in spring 2020 meant that Jacqui was “thrust into technological mayhem!”. 

“When we first went into lockdown is was devastating. I had just built up my client-base in the 12 weeks since starting in Okehampton, and suddenly overnight I had no customers. It was a case of getting onboard with technology, or sinking. Thankfully I’ve kept onboard”. 

Jacqui registered for the Growth Support Programme. This programme, now in its fourth year, is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is delivered in partnership with the Heart of South West LEP, the Growth Hub and a range of delivery partners. Cosmic’s Digital Business advisors are able to support SMEs, just like Jacqui, with a range of digital training and advice. Over the course of several meetings, Jacqui met with one of our Digital Skills Trainers, Becky. Cosmic helped Jacqui to identify her needs and skills gaps, realising that her challenge during Covid-19 would be all around digital marketing and online communications. Jacqui got to grips with a range of tools and solutions, and really embraced the benefits of Digital. 

“I’ve learnt how to use Whatsapp. I used to think, what is that? I was terrified of it. I can now do a video broadcast for people and send it to them. It’s blown my mind. Facebook has gone from being really scary, to me now doing live cookery lessons for my clients.” 

Not only has our Digital Skills training helped Jacqui keep her business going, but it has also given her the ability to support her own mother with new skills – passing on the Digital Inclusion across the community. “I’ve actually managed to teach my Mum, she’s 81 and based in Cumbria. I taught her how to join us on Zoom for a party on VE Day. That was brilliant!”

“My generation, we’re frightened to press buttons on technology, in case we break it or do something wrong. So, I say, ‘don’t be frightened to try’. My Mum started using her iPad when she was 80, and she’s discovered YouTube and she’s got a new lease of life, watching all her favourite musicians again.” 

We are thrilled to have supported Jacqui at this time, and her new-found enthusiasm and fame is helping to pass on the message to so many 
other people.