Everyone Get Connected! Digital Inclusion at Leonard Cheshire Disability

Group photo with certificates. Well done all!

Group photo with certificates. Well done all!

With the generous support of BT Northern Ireland and Choice Housing, Supporting Communities have recently completed a ten week digital inclusion course at Leonard Cheshire Taylor House in Belfast.

A group of 10 residents living in both the supported and independent living sides of the house received new tablets and learned a range of basic digital skills, from communicating online to finding important information and services and filling in forms.

After finishing the course, participants told us that their digital skills are better than before, that they have better access to the internet and are more confident going online. The course helped them to know where to look for information on the services they need and to communicate more with friends and family. The group agreed that being online also makes them feel more independent and able to do things for themselves.

I learned how to use a tablet for the first time & have both gained a lot of confidence in it as well as learning lots of new things.
— Cheshire Taylor House resident
Paul from Choice Housing with a proud graduate.

Paul from Choice Housing with a proud graduate.

The scheme hosted a graduation party for the group on 11 September attended by friends and staff from the house as well as representatives from BT, Choice, and Supporting Communities who presented the group with certificates of completion.

The Supporting Communities Digital Inclusion team were delighted to part of this project and it was a real pleasure to get to know everyone in the group.

Colm McDaid, Supporting Communities Chief Executive, came along on the day to see for himself and remarked, “I was delighted to present at the graduation. Seeing the pride and smiles on the faces of the participants was so uplifting. Well done to all involved. I’m sure we can do more with Leonard Cheshire in the future.”

Leonard Cheshire Disability is a charity that supports individuals to live, learn and work as independently as they choose, whatever their ability. Led by people with experience of disability, they work with housing associations to meet individual needs and offer different living options and services to support people with physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries, sensory impairments, and learning disabilities to live independently in their own home.

I think my memory is getting better from using the computer. I liked getting in touch on Facebook with my brother.
— Course participant

Supporting Communities looks forward to continuing our ‘Get Connected’ partnership with BT and Choice with a new group in Choice’s Strand Road housing this autumn.

The project first started last summer with a diverse group of people living in homeless hostels in East Belfast and offers us a new model to deliver training and support to some of the most vulnerable people who might not otherwise access digital inclusion training.

BT’s Gabrielle Hicks hugs a delighted project participant.

BT’s Gabrielle Hicks hugs a delighted project participant.