A North Tyneside digital project, which helps long-term unemployed people to gain the necessary skills to find employment, has received a boost this week after receiving a community grant for £7,700.
The grant was presented to St. Paul’s Community Partnership based on George Street in Willington Quay by growing landlord, Karbon Homes towards their already successful ‘Digi Drop-In’ project.
The partnership offers a wide range of activities such as exercise, dance, crafts, lunch clubs, kids club, youth groups, choir and a community garden. In addition, the Community Development Partnership provides a digital drop-in project which works with and supports long-term unemployed people to get them ‘employment ready’ and provides one-to-one digital support to both upskill and improve their computer skills.
Since it was launched three years ago, over 1,100 unemployed people have already benefitted from the service by gaining a new digital skill or improving their current digital knowledge. The free service, which is available to all residents living in North Tyneside, offers support to create and improve CV’s, search and apply for jobs and offers the opportunity to achieve Level 2 accredited online courses in food hygiene, health & safety and food nutrition.
The 12-month project will target Karbon Homes’ 600 residents living across the borough, giving them the essential skills to learn how to use a computer and to enhance their job prospects.
Lindsey Porter, Community Involvement Officer at Karbon Homes, said: “The Digi Drop-In project is run, very successfully, by volunteers at St. Paul’s Community Partnership. We are keen to support this initiative and to extend this service to our residents living in North Tyneside.
“Our aim is to provide residents with good all-round digital skills which will help them to improve their knowledge and access to digital services. For most, it will help them to find employment but we hope they will be able to use their new digital skills to pay their rent, report repairs or to access information about Karbon Homes.
“With Universal Credit expected to be rolled out across North Tyneside in February 2018, now is a good time to help residents to get digital-ready. Support is already available to residents who are required to sign up and complete the required forms.”
Stephen Ramshaw, Project Manager from St. Paul’s Community Partnership, said: “A large majority of jobs are advertised online so it is vital that people have the necessary skills required to stand a chance in the job market.
“Without those skills, a lot of adults are missing out on the opportunities the digital world offers. Our aim is to upskill and equip people in every part of society, irrespective of age, gender, disability or ethnicity, with the opportunity to access the internet in a safe environment whilst developing their digital skills and bettering themselves.
“We are very grateful to Karbon Homes for their donation which will help us to extend this service and benefit a wider group of people living in North Tyneside.”
The free ‘Digi Drop-In’ sessions are held every Wednesday from 10am til 4pm at St. Paul’s Community Centre in Willington Quay. No appointment is necessary - just drop in for help with all things digital.