It's officially 'Time to get online'
Published by Ailsa Macmillan for Derwentside Homes Ltd in Housing and also in Communities
(Front) Tenant Claire Ross one of the first to take part in the scheme (Background L-R) Debbie Howe Digital Inclusion Project Co-ordinator for the Time to Get Online project, Donna Walker Community Engagement Officer Derwentside Homes, Marina Montilla IT
County Durham residents can get to grips with their computers and IT gadgets thanks to free workshops run by a local housing association.
Derwentside Homes has launched a new ‘Time to get online’ initiative to teach residents about the benefits of the internet, staying safe online, setting up emails, saving money on shopping online and how to keep in touch with relatives.
The first event took place at the Learning Hive in Stanley on Tuesday (May 6), where professionals taught residents the basics of IT.
Derwentside Homes is running the six month scheme in partnership with North East housing providers Dale and Valley Homes, East Durham Homes, Teesdale Housing Association and Durham County Council who are also running free workshops in their areas.
Donna Walker, Community Involvement & Investment Officer from Derwentside Homes, said: “The first event went really well - the new, free scheme to get residents online benefits them immensely by teaching them the basics of IT systems such as Skype, social media sites and emails.
“The IT classes will be helpful to all residents, including elderly tenants who may not know much about computers and how they work.
“All the residents found the day very helpful as it is the perfect opportunity for a tenant to learn more about computers and to find their way around them if they have had little experience of using them before.”
By coming along to an event, residents will be entered into a free prize draw to win a laptop to practice their new IT skills on.
Transport can be provided to and from the events, as well as childcare support.
Claire Ross, 67, from Oakwood Court who attended the first event, said: “I found it very helpful – they taught us how to compose a letter and emails.
“It was very good for people who don’t know a lot about computers.”
Kevin Greenwell, 58, from Burnopfield, said: “It was ok but I have still got a long way to go.
“I think it will be important to have my own computer or laptop in the future because you don’t know what your health is going to be like then and if you would be able to get around as easily.”
There will be nine events around the Derwentside area in May to provide information to tenants who have little or no experience of using the internet or a computer.
Places are limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment by contacting Derwentside Homes on 01207 524 285 or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org