Golding Homes Residents go Digital
Golding Homes has been offering free IT sessions to help residents get on line safely and securely.
As well as giving people the skills they need to cope in an increasingly internet-focused world, Golding Homes wants to make sure residents will be able to cope with the challenges of Universal Credit.
The new system of claiming benefits, due to be rolled out in Maidstone in November, will only be accessible via the internet, which will make the changeover more difficult for those without IT skills.
But while the focus of the six sessions was online access and internet security, those who attended the course at Harbledown House, Barming, were quick to see other uses for their new digital skills.
“This will be really useful for dealing with Universal Credit but I have also learned a lot of other things,” said Patricia Fitzpatrick.
“I will now be able to create a better CV and I’ve already been using the internet to search online for jobs. The course has made me more confident about using computers but has also made me aware that there is much more to learn.”
Ian Johns also said the course had made him more confident when using the internet and praised the support of tutor Nick Bennett, from We Are Digital, the company brought in by Golding Homes to run the course.
Nick commented: “The aim of the course is to give people basic computer skills and help them get on line so that they can access the resources available on the housing association’s website, but there are lots of added benefits.”
The course covered word processing and other programmes and had a particular focus on security. “We want people to use the internet confidently but safely and we want them to use it to their advantage, particularly when it comes to finding work,” he said.
“This is just part of a wider push to make sure residents are ready for Universal Credit when it is rolled out here in November,” explained Golding Homes’ Community Development Advisor Sarah Leipnik.
“We want to help our residents get on line and understand how to use the internet confidently and safely. It can help them learn, find out information, apply for jobs and save money, and with Universal Credit all being done online, it’s a vital skill.
“It’s about building their confidence, giving them the skills they need to get into work and improving their life opportunities.”
As well as helping with digital literacy, Golding Homes provides support and advice to residents looking for work by running CV clinics, providing one-to-one advice on job applications and helping with job searches, as well as by ‘signposting’ those in need of support to partner agencies.
Golding Homes will be running an Applications Masterclass for anyone who has been applying for jobs but not getting a response. It will be held on 23 July at Starbucks, King Street, Maidstone. For more details contact Penny Lowe on 07720 309727.