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Sanctuary surfers making waves in Telford

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Sanctuary surfers making waves in Telford

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Published by rtownsend for Sanctuary Housing Association in Housing and also in Communities, Education

Residents learning how to surf the web Residents learning how to surf the web

Residents from a sheltered scheme in Telford are being given the opportunity to get online and surf the web thanks to a Sanctuary Housing initiative which is helping people learn interactive IT skills direct in their own home.

Sanctuary’s Gigs and Megs project is designed to teach residents how to use computers and see the benefits that digital technology can bring, such as communicating with friends and family or using online banking services.

Residents from Hartshorne Court, which is owned and managed by Sanctuary Housing, have started taking part in the classes which are delivered by Sanctuary staff and a qualified tutor from the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA).

The ten-week course, which is run completely free of charge, is not just restricted to residents of the scheme. It is also open to local people, who can join in the dedicated sessions and make new friends in the process.

Hartshorne resident Keith Homer said: “It’s important to keep up-to-date with modern technology which we are not used to. I want to be able to use computers to look up and make contact with old friends or record things I want to remember, so it’s great to have this training at our scheme as it has given me the momentum to learn without having to go elsewhere.”

Simon Clark, Sanctuary Group Director – Housing & Communities, commented: “Access to the internet is increasingly important and can be life changing for people who often have limited mobility. These practical sessions are a very positive way of bringing residents together and the skills they learn could open up a world of new opportunities for them.”

Jan Ardin, the WEA tutor teaching the classes, added: “The class is full of people who are complete beginners and are very keen to start learning. It’s a lively, friendly class with all the students helping each other. The tenants taking part in the scheme have made the community members joining them very welcome.”

The Gigs and Megs project is being run at a number of Sanctuary schemes across the country and comes just seven days before Get Online Week 2012. The national week aims to help people get started with computers and assist the eight million UK adults who currently don’t have access to the internet.

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