Student Profiles

Adeline Lai

Adeline heard about Free4U from a friend and her background has been in the hospitality industry. She wanted to change to an accounting job so needed to refresh her computing skills. She mentioned the courses are well laid out, flexible and easy to follow and take at your own pace. She plans to study all of the Free4U courses and is definitely learning a lot, especially things she thought she already knew, but didn't. She can't recommend Free4U highly enough.

Alice Jack-Phillips

Alice heard about Free4U from a friend and started at Free4U in 2012. She works in the commercial cleaning industry and attends Free4U regularly on Saturdays. She has been working her way through our Microsoft Office 2007, 2010 and 2013 courses as she sees it important to keep herself upskilled on the latest software and to broaden her computing skills. She commented she especially enjoys our Office 2013 course material and exercises and likes the friendly atmosphere on Saturdays. Alice has recommended a number of students onto study at Free4U. Excel and Access are her favourite programmes.

Astrid Hermans

Astrid Hermans, who recently returned to NZ after living in Europe, enrolled at Free4U Henderson, to develop on her computing skills she already had that "got her by". She wanted to upskill in Word, Excel and Access with the intention of making herself more employable. Astrid looked at various night courses including a 7 evening course at a local school, but due to unforseen circumstances she was unable to attend every evening and struggled to keep up as a result. Astrid found Free4U by doing an online search. She enjoys learning at Free4U because the textbooks are easy to follow and there is always staff on hand to help when required. She enjoys the friendly and casual atmosphere and that she can work around her current commitments. Her background is customer service and she has teenage kids.

Betsy Leung

Betsy heard about Free4U from a friend and is grateful for the opportunity to learn at Free4U because she didn't have a chance to learn computing in her homeland. She is currently retired and previously worked in the packing industry. Before she came to Free4U she was a beginner computer user and she is now confident in using email, Facebook, Google Maps and Microsoft Word. Her favourite Free4U course is Word.

David Reddy

David heard about Free4U in the North Shore Times. He works in the insurance field and learning Microsoft Office at Free4U, in particular Word & Excel (and the use of email) has helped him considerably in his job and in addition, Publisher & Excel have been extremely valuable for writing newsletters and collating membership information for a charity club he is involved with. David likes the quiet and friendly nature of Free4U and learning and refreshing the Microsoft Office applications.

Debra Bolderson

Debra Bolderson, a student of Free4U Albany, found us online by doing a Google search.  Her main reason for enrolling at Free4U was to upskill & have the confidence to work for an employer again as the work she has been doing with her husband was decreasing.  She had basic Microsoft Word skills before she enrolled at Free4U and now she knows Internet & Email, Word, Excel, Publisher, PowerPoint and Access and has enrolled in the Certificate in Business Administration and Computing (Level 3) at Unitec Northern Campus for a formal qualification.  She found our workbooks easy to use and loved being able to work at her own pace and come at the session times that suited her.  She really appreciated our patience and friendliness, and of course, that our courses were free!

Des Bellette

Des heard about Free4U through the Walsh Trust where he worked.  His background is Trades (Electrical) and was self-taught in basic computing & typing using a typewriter. He came to Free4U to upskill mainly to communicate with his family and improve his Microsoft Office & typing skills. He commented that the new Free4U Henderson location is a much better learning environment & that he enjoys the company & learning with others at Free4U.

Dion Reti 

Dion heard about Free4U from Te Kotuku Ki Te Rangi. Before coming to Free4U, he had used Facebook & Email at Walsh Trust and with his family but wanted to work on his typing and internet skills at Free4U. He enjoys the social aspect of learning at Free4U especially the free lunches, quizzes and prizes organised by the Unitec Student Support teams at Waitākere campus. On more than one occasion he has blessed our food at our Free4U student morning teas.


Gillian Reid

Gillian Reid, who has an Accounts/ Admin/ Payroll background, found Free4U online and enrolled to upskill herself in the latest Microsoft Applications. She has a good technical understanding of computers. She commented that Free4U is a good gap filler to assist in upskilling whilst looking for fulltime employment.  She enjoys the Free4U sessions and has made new friends along the way. She also commented that the assistance from Free4U facilitators was very helpful too. She has done most of the Free4U courses on offer and is confident that the skills she is getting at Free4U will help her in the workforce.

Greg Tuitama

Greg heard about Free4U from a family friend who did an online search for free computer classes. He enjoys coming to Free4U to build his independence, confidence and computer skills and enjoys meeting and socialising with others at Free4U. He used to be a labourer (and worked on a fishing boat and did landscaping amongst other things) but an injury forced him to rethink his career and study options. He has been to other training providers to further his education too. Greg had never used a computer before he came to Free4U but he is now confident with using the mouse, typing, sending email and basic Word processing. He is very motivated and the self-directed and self-paced nature of Free4U is the kind of learning style that he enjoys.


Helen Burdett

Helen heard about Free4U through friends. She hadn’t used a computer before coming to Free4U.  Her daughter inspired her to learn computers after showing her some travel photos. Helen comes to Free4U to gain computing skills for communication with her family and to move on with her life. She has done our Keyboarding and Internet and Email courses and enjoys coming to Free4U because it’s free, there is no pressure and because it is a good learning environment.

Ina Maireroa

Ina heard about Free4U on the Internet and also through friends & family.  She worked in the hospitality industry and wanted to change career so decided to come to Free4U to upskill in computing to gain more skills & knowledge as she had little knowledge of computers before she started. She has studied all the courses at Free4U and enjoys studying independently with no pressure and being in a friendly learning environment. She will be doing further study after Free4U also.

Ingrid Kuipers

Ingrid heard about Free4U from a friend and had been looking for free computer training courses for a while. She has a background in English teaching and came to Free4U to upskill in producing professional documents and because she wants to become acquainted with the latest software. She enjoys that she can come whenever it fits in with her other commitments and because it’s free and convenient.


James Manning

James Manning enrolled at Free4U Computing Henderson to upskill himself in using Microsoft Office to assist with his job search as a librarian in the public service industry. James, originally a hairdresser, decided last year it was time for a change and an upgrade of his computer skills. He tried several computer training programs before he started at Free4U. Since he began at Free4U early in 2013, he has picked up many valuable computer skills including speed & accuracy with typing, learning the ins and outs of Word & Excel and learning Access for the first time which has given him an insight into the way library database systems work.  His comments about learning at Free4U are that it's exciting, interesting and useful and that it opened up opportunities for him and taken him down the right learning path. He is currently studying research and working for the council in the events sector and is confident that the computing skills he's picked up at Free4U are assisting him in his current workplace and will assist him in his future endeavors. At Free4U Computing he studied Internet and Email, Word Part 1 & 2, Excel, Publisher, PowerPoint and Access.

Jan Nicholson

A friend recommended Jan to Free4U. She came to Free4U with basic Word & Email skills and is looking to upskill for her own business interests. She has done our Word 1, Word 2 and Excel courses to date. She has really appreciated all the help given by Free4U staff and has enjoyed the courses to date.

Janet Adshead

Janet Adshead, a student of Free4U Henderson, found out about us at Glen Eden Library. She had computing skills in finance & payroll systems, but had no internet, typing or general Microsoft Office computing skills. Her aim was to upskill in the standard Microsoft Office applications so she had a broader technical understanding and after talking to her upon completion, she said she had a really good grasp of these. She got a lot more out of it than she expected and her Excel, Access, Word and PowerPoint knowledge will definitely be of great value to her in her new role in accounts.  Everything she was use to was presetup and she hadn't understood the functionality behind it, now she is confident and ready for a new challenge.

John Fennell

John heard about Free4U by searching online. His background is arts/ entertainment and he has done most of the courses available at Free4U. He came to Free4U to upskill with a particular focus on Excel as he had average computing knowledge, mainly with Word when he started.  So far he’s found Free4U very useful and the staff helpful and he enjoys the ”go at your own pace” style of learning. John believes Free4U is a real asset to the community and he highly recommends Free4U to anyone looking to upskill.

Juliet Kauvai

Juliet enjoys the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of Free4U classes on Saturdays at Henderson. She works 6 days a week as a commercial cleaner. She heard about Free4U from a friend. She mentioned the facilitators are very dedicated, capable and patient and make you feel welcome in the class. She had no knowledge of computers before coming to Free4U and is now confident with using a memory stick, sending email, Googling, Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher, PowerPoint and Access (the last 3 she really enjoys). She is loving coming to our course. She mentioned she went to a Management course and was so proud she passed one of the technical computer exercises. 

Kay Leak

Kay Leak, a student of Free4U Albany, came to Free4U to upskill herself in computing after leaving an office job to look after her mother. Kay's strength is communicating with people on the phone. Coming to Free4U gives Kay a reason to get up, focus on herself, gives her personal time & confidence and the chance to meet people in similar situations. She is currently employed and comes to Free4U when she is not working. She has done all of our courses and is looking at studying CBAC at Unitec next semester. Kay would recommend Free4U to anybody who is interesting in brushing up on their computing skills.

Khandoker Islam

Khandoker heard about Free4U from a friend and started at the beginning of February 2016, a couple of weeks before Free4U Henderson relocated from the 357 Arcade to Unitec Waitākere campus. He worked in a senior role in the law enforcement industry and is now retired.  His family encouraged him to upskill as computers are such an integral party of daily life. He communicates with his family using Viber and has studied our Internet & Email course and our Word 1 & 2 courses to date.  He enjoys coming to Free4U regularly and wants to thank Unitec for offering students such a great opportunity.

Kimmy Lam

Kimmy heard about Free4U through a friend and came to us with a general knowledge of Word and Email and with the intention of upskilling and possibly changing career paths in the future. She enjoyed learning Excel and PowerPoint at Free4U and thinks our course material is written step by step which has helped her in her learning.

Mary Hereora 

Mary, who studies at Free4U Henderson, heard about us through the Henderson library. The skills she has obtained from Free4U have helped her look for jobs that she wouldn’t have been able to look for. Her background is in manufacturing and housekeeping/ cleaning and she is looking for admin roles that would suit her skill level as a stepping stone. She has worked through all of our Free4U course modules and enjoys the helpfulness of the tutors.

Matt Gill

Matt heard about Free4U Albany through the Real Estate course at Unitec Northern Campus. He used to work in the relocation industry and is now studying Real Estate course and whilst at Northern campus is upskilling himself in computing at Free4U. He had limited computing knowledge before coming to Free4U and enjoys the self-paced nature of the Free4U course and the friendly staff.

Meleane Tauvale

Meleane Tauvale, a nurse by profession, heard about us through WINZ in Orewa and decided to come to us last year with no knowledge of computers. She progressed so much that she studied the Certificate in Business Administration and Computing and has enrolled to do the NZ Diploma in Business at Mt Albert campus. She loved her time at Free4U and was grateful for the opportunity and support that we were able to give her.

Miguel Fuentes

Miguel Fuentes, a Puerto Rican professional musician, who was born in New York, started at Free4U Albany a couple of months ago with the goal of learning how to use the computer to improve his communication with music contacts, promote himself and his music teaching online, communicate with his students and improve his typing and document editing skills. He heard about Free4U through the Citizens Advice Buearau and loves coming to Free4U because he can get assistance whilst learning at his own pace.  Miguel is a professional percussionist but plays most instruments. 

Nicole Huffam-Hopkins

Nicole Hopkins, enrolled at Free4U Henderson to upskill herself in computing for her own personal interest. She enrolled with knowledge of using Internet and Email and has since worked her way through Word Part 1, Word Part 2, Excel, PowerPoint and the extra exercises. She likes the flexibility of the session times and having facilitators on hand to keep you moving forward without actually doing it for you. She is aiming to complete everything that is available at Free4U.

Papamma Kumaran

Papamma Kumaran, a 60 year old full time stay at home mum, enrolled at Free4U Henderson with no knowledge of computers and the intention of upskilling herself in using the Internet & Microsoft Office so she could communicate with her family & friends, do her budgeting and have a better understanding of the digital world for her job search. She has come a long way since she started at Free4U and can use email, Facebook, Word, Excel, Publisher and is just starting PowerPoint. Papamma says learning at Free4U is interesting, motivating and is an awesome opportunity that she wishes some of her friends will take up on.  She wants to humbly thank Fi, Ash and Frances, for their professional assistance and learning which has been filled with great experiences. Her family and the team at Free4U are very proud of how far she’s come since she started.

Sally Aberhart

Sally heard about Free4U through the Real Estate course at Unitec Northern Campus. Sally had used computers before coming to Free4U but had not used Excel or PowerPoint and wanted to refresh her computing skills. She has done our Internet and Email, Word Part 1, Word Part 2, Excel, Publisher and PowerPoint courses. She used to work in the beauty industry and now works in sales. She enjoys the Free4U learning environment.

SanLee Kellicut

SanLee, as a retiree, enrolled at Free4U Albany for her own personal interest. She wanted to keep her mind active and learn new things, so people didn't always have to help her on the computer. She has worked in the hospitality industry and is a qualified hairdresser. She has lived in the US, Australia and New Zealand. She enjoys Free4U because it's always fun learning something new and meeting new people and she is gaining valuable skills that she can put to good use. She intends on doing everything that is offered at Free4U.

Sean Sullivan

Sean Sullivan, who has autism, heard about Free4U through his school and before he started coming to Free4U, he had basic internet & typing skills.  He spends a lot on time at Free4U doing internet searching, watching YouTube videos and working on his typing.  At home he often multitasks by watching DVDs, playing with his iPad and listening to CDs.  He enjoys coming to Free4U because it is a welcoming environment and a great chance to upskill and his mother enjoys coming with him to see his progress.

Stewart East

Stewart originally came to Free4U in 2006 and returned in May 2015. He has done all of the Free4U courses and had basic computing skills before coming to Free4U.  He is changing industries to business admin and is enrolling in the Bachelor of Business at Unitec Mt Albert Campus to get a formal qualification to support the skills that he already posses. Free4U is standing him in good sted for further study and for his job search. He enjoys coming to Free4U to further his education and improve his computing skills.

Tony Tate

Tony had never used a computer before coming to Free4U and is now proficient in typing, saving files, the internet & email and Microsoft Word. He heard about Free4U through Te Kotuku Ki Te Rangi and enjoys the social nature of Free4U and coming in on regular days.  He likes coming to Free4U to learn new things.

Zena Purcell

Zena Purcell started last year at Free4U in Henderson with a minimal understanding of computers.  Her background is healthcare and she came to Free4U to upskill herself for admin work and to learn about using social media as a tool for family communication and expressing & sharing her faith.   She was more than satisfied with what she is getting out of Free4U.  She loved the atmosphere and meeting people of similar backgrounds to her.  She would recommend Free4U to others as there is no pressure and you can learn at your own pace.  She is comfortable with typing, internet, email, Facebook, Word, PowerPoint and Publisher and wants to put a bit more time into her typing and to Excel.   She gained all her computing knowledge from Free4U and will continue to come back & upskill herself.  She is open to the idea of further training in computers depending on her circumstances.

Student Testimonials


I'm a 64 year young semi-retiree and earlier this year, I was privileged to attend courses in Microsoft Office through Free4U in Henderson. I can not speak highly enough of the tutors who were there, particularly Ash Bennett and Fi Pillay. These two people showed an immense amount of patience and helpfulness. I apologise to them for not having been back but I have been busy doing some casual work.  However, I would like this opportunity to say, thank you for all the help, encouragement and fun while I was with you guys and yes, it has helped me lots.


I commend Ash and Miguel at Free4U computing on their outstanding way they treat us, as we are not computer literate. I have done Word, PowerPoint and Excel and am now confident to use these in the workplace. I am currently doing Access and hope to complete before end of semester. Thank you for your outstanding service to the community. I would recommended Free4U to anyone who thinks they need to improve their computer skills. I am currently doing part time work and seeking permanent employment and am happy that I did this course through Unitec.  Well done Unitec staff, your staff live the slogan, "We make the people who make it" by their teaching method. Becky Steele (from the Careers Team) also helped me with my CV as its been more than 10 years since I edited my CV and participated in a job interview.  Thank you Unitec.