Skills for life

Funding level: Up to £1,000

Description

Sending and receiving emails, shopping and banking online, using social media and doing research for both study and personal reasons are some of the things many of us take for granted in today's digital world. However, there remains a significant number of people who are excluded from these everyday activities because of either a lack of internet access and/or basic computing skills.
Our service is based within one of Westminster’s most deprived wards and the catchment area includes six wards that score below an average of minus 5.5 in the London Wellbeing scores published in May 2015. The 12 different indicators include economic security, children and education, health and life expectancy as the basis of wellbeing that underpins healthy family and community relations.
Our service aims to provide a localised community hub dedicated to championing the important and sometimes undervalued role of parents based on an African proverb and the belief that “it takes a whole community to raise a child”.
Some of our main activities include: a weekly Drop in, ESOL/English Classes and Parenting programmes. Our weekly Drop In has always been our flagship service. The aim of the Drop In is to provide a warm and welcoming space where parents can access advice and support with a range of issues that impact on the sometimes challenging role of parenting, meet and network with other parents and offer and receive peer support.
We want to empower parents to become self-reliant and in a better position to find their own solutions to the challenges they face with the support of experienced professionals.
The Drop in has two separate strands of follow up support. Our generic Support includes helping parents with more formal correspondence: letter writing and emails as a means of empowering those parents who find bureaucracy an additional challenge. This is a much needed and sought-after service for our ESOL parents (English Speakers of Other Languages), particularly when responding to welfare benefit enquiries and social housing matters.
Within the last 18 months, we have responded to the need for more specific support to provide advocacy at school meetings, with social workers and housing officers.
The idea of our Drop In came from local people and we have a strong history of tailoring our delivery in consultation with people who directly benefit from the service. In recent weeks, we consulted with our users through a series of local events and questionnaires, the feedback from the local community is that they would like more opportunities to learn new skills, address disadvantage and improve employment prospects as well as bring local people together in order to reduce isolation.
At the direct request of the local community, our project proposal is to provide both computer and internet access during our Drop-In sessions. We would like to purchase two new computers and the relevant software. These computers would be made available during the Drop-in sessions which take place 1.5 to 2 days per week. We have a number of volunteers with computer skills who will be on hand to support parents with using the computers and improving their skills. Having these new computers will enable us to provide between 12 -16 hours free internet/computer access every week which we believe will result in:
• Improved computer skills
• Greater internet access
• Improved parental support with homework
• Better networking skills including social media
• Better community relationships
• Feeling more part of the online global community
• Improved employment potential
We know this will be a popular addition to our service and estimate between 6-12 people using the facility at each drop-in session.
The computers will be an extra resource during our weekly English classes. They will be of great benefit to many low income and socially isolated people, in particular women, who experience language/cultural barriers in accessing mainstream services.

Tell It Parents Network

Moment of Pride

One of a kind, we are proud of our track record of providing parents with a dedicated community space to network, receive advice and support and participate in workshops and community learning as a means to improving skills and knowledge, fulfilling potential and creating stronger community links.

Location: Westminster, London, United Kingdom