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County Durham residents enjoy 'next generation' IT support

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County Durham residents enjoy 'next generation' IT support

CESTRIA COMMUNITY HOUSING Logo

Published by Kelly Elliott for Cestria Community Housing in Housing and also in Communities

Students from New College Durham help Chester-le-Street residents get online during a ‘Techy Tea Party’ event, held as part of Cestria Community Housing’s Online Owls project. Students from New College Durham help Chester-le-Street residents get online during a ‘Techy Tea Party’ event, held as part of Cestria Community Housing’s Online Owls project.

A group of Chester-le-Street residents have benefitted from an IT masterclass delivered by local college students.

The teenagers, from New College Durham, gave up their time to support the Online Owls project - a scheme organised by local housing association Cestria Community Housing which aims to help local people get to grips with their gadgets and get online.

The ‘Techy Tea Party’ event gave residents one-to-one time with the students, who are all studying for their BTEC Level 3 Information Computer Technology.  Over tea and biscuits, the students tutored the residents on all aspects of the internet, from downloads and desktops to tablets and Twitter.

“Online Owls is proving a great success and the feedback from local residents at this latest event was really positive.” said Paul Bainbridge, ICT Projects Officer for Cestria.

“The students from New College Durham were fantastic – they have grown up using the internet and were able to share their knowledge with an older generation, which was great to see. One-to-one time is so important in understanding computers and the internet, and we wouldn’t hesitate to work with the college again in the future.”

Tim Skelton, BTEC L3 ICT Course Leader at New College Durham, said:  “Online Owls is an excellent project – it’s vital that everyone has the skills and knowledge needed to make the most of the opportunities that the internet provides. 

“Our students found the session incredibly rewarding and the location and set up was fantastic. Real working experience like this is great for the students and I must thank Cestria for giving us the opportunity to get involved with Online Owls.”

Cestria’s Online Owls project, which was set up in December, received £9,500 from the Big Lottery Fund and is supported by The Durham County Cricket Foundation, the Foundation of Light, the Chester-le-Street & District Area Action Partnership, Go ON UK and Chester-le-Street Volunteer Centre.

The project is open to anyone living in and around Chester-le-Street and within weeks of the launch more than 175 residents had signed up, with the team now hoping to organise further events over the next few months.

Anyone wanting to find out about future courses and events should contact Online Owls on 0191 385 1436, email onlineowls@cestria.org or visit www.onlineowls.co.uk. The group is also accessible at the ‘Online Owls’ Facebook page or by following @OnlineOwls on Twitter.

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