Old Trafford residents get connected at new internet café
Published by Anonymous for Trafford Housing Trust in Housing
Liz Smart (Scheme Manager, THT), Matthew Gardiner (Chief Executive, THT), and Andy Lockwood (TalkTalk) launch the new Pavillion Lodge internet cafe
A sheltered housing scheme in Firswood, Old Trafford has converted an unused kitchen into a new internet café to help the local community get online.
The new resource, open to all residents, has been set up by Trafford Housing Trust at its Pavilion Lodge sheltered scheme on Edgbaston Drive, just by Old Trafford Metrolink
Open every Monday (10am -11.30am) and Thursday (10am-12pm) the café offers free superfast broadband, together with paid-for refreshments. Regular training sessions, in everything from finding a job online to shopping and use of Skype, will be offered, to help local people get to grips the limitless potential of the internet.
A number of ‘silver surfers’ who reside at the sheltered housing scheme are making use of the new facility – but the café is aimed at everyone, not just Pavilion Lodge residents.
The project has been supported by TalkTalk Business, which provided its Superpowered Fibre Broadband package at no cost to the scheme. Experts from the firm were on hand to offer basic training sessions to local residents at the café’s official opening, and will continue to support the café in the months ahead.
The launch is part of a wider programme of activity by Trafford Housing Trust to help local communities get online. The housing trust will soon be training a number of ‘digital champions’ – computer literate residents who will volunteer their time to help their neighbours get to grips with the internet.
Matthew Gardiner, Chief Executive of Trafford Housing Trust, said: “Our new internet café will provide an extremely valuable resource for local people. It’s aimed at those already familiar with the internet who want to do some free surfing, and those who need some friendly encouragement to go online for the first time.
“Widening the availability of the internet for our customers is an important way of empowering people. From simple things such as saving money by shopping online, to looking for job opportunities, the internet offers so much potential. We had a fantastic turn-out at our recent café launch, and feel confident it will become a well-used venue.”
Richard Stead, Head of Corporate Executive for TalkTalk Business said: “Helping people get online is important not only from an economic perspective but also from a quality of life perspective. Seeing Trafford residents take their first steps online was so rewarding, and we’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with Trafford Housing Trust in the months ahead, to help even more local people get online.”