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Healthy Way to learn IT

In the Aston Pride area of Birmingham where the majority of residents are from ethnic minority groups and where English for many is not their first language, there was a health education need around diabetes awareness and control.

Saathi House logoWorking with partners that included a technical consultant, Adult Education, health professionals and community partner Saathi House, a software tool was designed that has not only helped develop the community's IT and language skills but has enabled them to understand more about the importance of a healthy diet and regular GP checks.

Project Objectives

  • Improved language (pre-entry level English) and digital skills in the Asian community.
  • Improved health outcomes for diabetes sufferers.
  • To develop a digital solution for housebound learners.
  • To work with established community organisations to create a sustainable project.
  • To create a learning tool that can be used elsewhere.

The innovative learning software

The innovative aspect of this is that the project team have created a role play that is relatable to the clients. The main two characters are a married couple called Hussein and Shazia. The software theme has been developed to orate the health discussion between Hussein and his wife Shazia, along with their family Doctor Gill and Shazia's best friend Parveen.

Healthy Way to Learn IT

Click here to see a couple of pages

Project Delivery

A simple lesson to learn about diabetes in English was developed using the software Mediator 9.0. This was undertaken by a technical consultant working with an adult education teacher and a health professional. The introduction was translated by community members into Urdu and Bengali. The software was put onto a CD-ROM for people to use at home. 16 participants with access to a computer and the internet were recruited through Saathi House - the project's community partner. Community workers fluent in at least one of the community languages, provided ICT and learning support. Evaluation was undertaken to assess gain in language and ICT skills as well as improved diabetes management.



  • 81% of participants have reported that they feel more confident with ICT.
  • All would be interested in using similar media to learn about other health topics and recommend this CD to others.
  • 94% now feel more confident about speaking or reading English.
  • 100% would like to continue with further English language learning.
  • 91% of participants have passed on what they have learned about diabetes to others.
  • 59% have reported a more healthy diet, 35% have had a diabetes check with a GP and 82% have exercised more.
  • As a result of the project, a further 63 learners have started pre-entry level English courses at Saathi House and 20 people have joined exercise sessions.


The project evaluation survey results can be downloaded here.

Healthy Way to Learn IT

This is now posted as a case study on the EU web site

Digital Birmingham is a Birmingham City Council initiative and part of a city wide strategic partnership of more than 40 public, private and voluntary organisations

eGovernment National Awards - Winner 2008