Ashton Learning Centre
We are a small UK Online centre located in South Bristol, recently we have undertaken out reach sessions in the BS5 area of Bristol, and the Hillfields area of Bristol where there is high proportion of Digitally exclude adults.
In the Hillfields area this is highlighted by the lack of provision in the area of basic ICT courses. We have developed a bolg site for the young people and would like to offer the same support to a Young Mums Group and a a group who wish to start up a not for profit business in a local park.
As we are based in one part of Bristol we feel we can support these groups by holding outreach sessions to engage with the residents and then either support them to access online courses and also to apply for low cost refurbished computers so that they are able to access information for employment or training themselves or with support.
We are aware that a number of people in the areas where we work are didtally excluded because they do not understand how to use the equipment.
We have run taster sessions in respect of Skype and are looking to run some more. This allows people low cost communication with their relations and in some cases the participants are from the imigrant community and are able to communicate with their estranged families.
We have been allocated some funds for equipment and over the next few weeks it is envisged that an Art group who are based in a resource centre for ex substance abusers will create a blog site with their photographs, again we hope to work with a group from the Emmaus community who will be able to share their experances "online" and in the public domain
In the above examples of work the use of digital media inreases commincation skills, assists in helping the particpant becoming more self confident and in some cases the self confidence and basic ICT skills to apply for employment.
At present we have had numerous refferals from a local Jobcentre and other jobcentres that are based near our outreach sites want to refer digitally exlcuded customers to us we are targeting the over 45's who seem to be more disadvanteged than younger people as more and more face to face services are being reduced it is vitally important that people are shown how to access infromation and services.