Help to become more digitally aware

A MAJOR project is being led by Citizens’ Advice Rossendale and Hyndburn aimed to get people digitally aware and ready for work.

Project Co-ordinator Tony Sheppard runs Reach IT, a Building Better Opportunities project funded by the Big Lottery and the European Social Fund.

It aims to set up a network of trained digital champions to help people to become more computer literate and also digital buddies who are not formally trained but can assist in helping people.

Tony has been employed by Citizens’ Advice Rossendale and Hyndburn, based at Stubbylee Hall, Stubbylee Park, Bacup, on the scheme since February and has already worked with 30 people across Rossendale and Hyndburn.

As part of Get Online Week from October 15 to 21, Tony will be in the community officially launching the project.

Drop in sessions will be held on: Monday October 15 from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Stubbylee Hall; Tuesday October 16 from 12.30pm to 2pm at Haslingden Community and Wednesday October 17 1.30pm-3.30pm at Whitworth Men’s Sheds at 6 Milner Street.

Tony said: “The project is designed to help people who are unemployed, carers, people who are sick or disabled but want to be able to move towards work or training to get help to improve their digital skills.

“Every Thursday I am at Rawtenstall’s Jobcentre Plus from 1-3pm where I already have a digital champion and buddy to help me.

“I am reaching out to get volunteers who want to be involved with the project as a participant.

“In Hyndburn I go into the Jobcentre Plus in Accrington every Tuesday from 10am to noon.”

It is recognised that digital skills and computer awareness are becoming essential requirements of many jobs that are being advertised and are needed to access everyday services.

Reach IT has been funded to try to bridge the gap to enable people who are unemployed to enhance their skills and help others.

To find out more complete an online form on the Citizens’ Advice Rossendale and Hyndburn website, call in at one of the drop in sessions or call Tony on 07549 400 329.

Story by Catherine Smyth Media

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