A digital inclusion project that has already signed up 40 community organisations across North Lanarkshire is now working on bringing groups face-to-face.
Digital North Lanarkshire (Digital NL) is set to host a networking event for its members at the 101 Park Street conference venue within our Coatbridge Campus.
Taking place on Thursday 25 April, the event aims to allow training providers and community-based groups to listen to an update on the project, share ideas and connect with like-minded organisations.
The programme is also running ‘Training for Trainers’ sessions that will see tutors from the community visit our Motherwell Campus to receive guidance from Computing lecturers.
The Digital NL project was launched in December 2016 to improve quality of life of North Lanarkshire residents through making the most out of digital activities and technology.
Funded by New College Lanarkshire and North Lanarkshire Community Learning and Development Partnership, the initiative has already attracted 1,500 unique visitors to its website.
The website currently lists more than 100 classes and groups ranging from genealogy research and using social media or spreadsheets, to internet safety, job searching and 3D printing.
Kirkshaws Neighbourhood Centre in Coatbridge has drop-in IT classes (pictured above), a job club and genealogy group listed on the website – and two of its instructors will be taking part in the ‘Training for Trainers’ tuition at the College in April.
Support worker Margaret Reilly, who has taught classes in Kirkshaws for ten years, said: “I’m looking forward to the training – I like anything to do with computers and initiatives that make it easier for the people who come to our classes to learn.
“We regularly help people complete Job Centre or Universal Credit applications, or give them help with ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence), Photoshop, Publisher – just whatever people want to learn.
“Anyone can come along – we help them use the computer in a way that helps them in their everyday life. We especially help a lot of older people, allowing them to access services online.
“This is a great centre and the age range is amazing – I’ve had learners who are 92!”
Community organisations and learning providers can also access technology such as iPads and wireless internet hotspots to improve their services.
Deborah Mooney, Project Manager for Digital NL, said: “Visiting groups in libraries and community or neighbourhood centres is the best part of my job because that’s where you see the Digital NL project making a difference and joining up communities both online and in reality.
“There is a social side to it; people will come to learn the digital skills maybe for an hour then it’s time to have a cup of tea and a chat and that’s when they find out more about other services and learning opportunities that are available.
“It’s so much more than just a digital inclusion project when you can see the difference that it’s making to people’s lives.”
For more information, visit the Digital NL website here.