Students at The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) have been providing free internet and IT training to people who are unfamiliar with computers thanks to funding from the Fastershire broadband project.
The Go-online grant is part of a Fastershire initiative to give people in Herefordshire the opportunity to gain experience of using the internet and helped the college to provide a regular Tech Novice Café for people from the community.
Teresa Allen, teacher in charge of IT skills and development at RNC explains, “A key aspect of our work is to prepare students for employment and the Tech Novice Café has allowed us to introduce them to a real work experience.”
“The pupils applied for posts in the café where they would offer front line IT support and training. People attending the café received one-to-one support, some brought their devices with them and others learnt about new technologies.”
Student Kieran Little said, “Being able to help clients has been very beneficial. It's a great sense of achievement to teach someone a new skill and pass on the knowledge that you have worked so hard to gain.”
“I see this as a great opportunity. It has given me confidence to teach people about what technology is out there, but it is also a great experience of what a job may hold in the future.
The Fastershire broadband project is rolling out fibre broadband across the county and the first phase is aiming to deliver around 90% fibre coverage across Herefordshire by the end of 2016.
Councillor Graham Powell, the lead cabinet member for broadband, explained, “The Fastershire broadband project is more than just the delivery of a superfast broadband network. The project includes a series of initiatives to enable as many residents as possible to use broadband with confidence.”
“We want to increase skill levels and open up the internet to a wider audience enabling them to take advantage of the digital opportunities. Local community groups, clubs and other not-for-profit organisations in Herefordshire can apply for funding to arrange internet support and training.”
“RNC’s Tech Novice Café is a wonderful example of a project which many people are benefitting from and we hope more groups will come forward to provide similar activities and support within their own communities.”
For more information IT training and support email Gofirstname.lastname@example.org.