We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for a national environmental award after teaming with Walsall Housing Group to create a pioneering Digital Hub in Rough Hay Darlaston, aiming to reduce a ‘digital divide’.
The pilot project was completed in October last year and is now one of nine UK-wide initiatives shortlisted for the National Recycling Awards in the Best Partnership with the Public Sector category. Winners will be announced at London’s Hilton on Park Lane Hotel on July 1.
Over 200 people attended an open day when the centre re-opened. 45 aspiring learners signed up for IT classes on the first day and since then, there have been a number of people benefiting from the training. The hub now provides a range of IT classes, from basics of computer use, to making the most of Skype and job search training.
More services have now been introduced, including health screening, smoking cessation services and dietary advice.
After training staff at the centre as well as two volunteers who became ‘Digital Champions’ they have now been empowering other local residents through further training.
Our MD Bevil Williams said he was hugely proud to have been involved in the project and see the major positive impact it had had.
We also took on two volunteers from the centre as apprentices and all refurbishments were carried out by local contractors.
“On a more social level, there has been an increase in older residents’ confidence in IT and reduced isolation for those more elderly people using the services. Not only that but our use of recycled equipment and furniture has meant savings of £25,000.”
As a result of the scheme, we have now been asked to help in an IT-access project for more than 400,000 households in London and the South East.