UWE, Lockleaze Neighbourhood Organisations and HP launch 'Connect Lockleaze'

Issue date: 11 October 2012

Free computer access, the opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people are some of the benefits on offer to communities in North Bristol, from 'Connect Lockleaze', an exciting new initiative from neighbours UWE Bristol and HP working with Lockleaze neighbourhood organisations.

'Connect Lockleaze' is a free scheme, open to all residents in the North Bristol area. Come and find out more on Friday 12 October from 14:00-16:00 at the Cameron Centre for 'ITea & Cake ', an informal consultation session with the scheme co-ordinators.

Whatever the interest, from learning how to shop online and connecting with friends on social media to getting help with managing money or accessing training opportunities, 'Connect Lockleaze' would like to hear from residents, to contribute to the range of activities on offer.

Three Community IT Hubs offering open access to computers with free WiFi and low cost printing will also be located at the Langley and Cameron Centres and Boing! at the Blake Centre in Lockleaze and North Bristol. They have been kitted out with a HP donation of desktops, PCs, laptops and all in-one-printers.

Gail Bowen-Huggett, Training Development Co-ordinator for 'Connect Lockleaze', said, “I am really excited to be involved in a project that will be truly be driven by the local community. Thanks to HP, Gainsborough Square is now really well equipped with computers and free wifi so it is up to us to use these facilities in a fun, creative way to engage the local community and ensure that they become full participants in deciding how to use the three IT centres and what type of courses or activities they want to see organised. It can be anything from designing Christmas Cards to skyping family and friends, from helping kids with their homework to job applications … the possibilities are endless.”

From 31 October to 5 December 2012, 'Connect Lockleaze' will also be running a weekly group to develop basic IT skills on Wednesday afternoons. The sessions are not a training course, but they are designed to help people learn what they are interested in or need to know. Complete beginners or improvers are welcome and tuition and support will be provided on a 1:1 basis. Spaces are limited, and booking is essential. To reserve a space, please contact the Cameron Centre on 0117 914 1129.

Richard Reddrop, Chair of Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust and Head of Community Services at Lockleaze Primary School and Early Years Centre, said, “I am really excited that the Lockleaze community is partnering with UWE Bristol and HP with this project; opportunities to learn new skills and access training are constantly being requested and sought and we now have the opportunities to deliver it in a quality fashion. Interest is really growing and I would really encourage the community to come along and find out more on Friday.”

Volunteers from both organisations have been instrumental in the delivery of the project. Following the consultation session UWE student volunteers will help to design and deliver the activities and training sessions, whilst HP volunteers have been installing and maintaining the equipment and offering their expertise.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor John Rushforth, who is leading the initiative, said, “In this technological age we can take access to computers and the internet for granted. 'Connect Lockleaze' is an excellent example of what partnership working is all about. We are delighted to be working with HP to engage with a local community just 15 minutes' walk away from the University by equipping them with the access to technology and skills needed to make a positive contribution to their daily lives.”

“We believe that providing people with technology skills is a very effective way they can enhance their employment prospects and make a difference to the community in which they live. We are proud to support this project and have been inspired by the dedication of the Bristol community and the UWE students,” commented Nick Wilson, Vice President and Managing Director of HP UK and Ireland.

For more information on Connect Lockleaze contact the Cameron Centre on 0117 914 1129.

Staff/student volunteers can still get involved with this inspirational project. For UWE Volunteering contact: Jo.Earl@uwe.ac.uk and HP contact: Steve.Vince@hp.com

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