Learning how to use a computer can be crucial for those trying to move away from homelessness and social exclusion.
The inability to use a computer to get online is a massive hurdle for people facing homelessness or unemployment. In addition to social isolation, most vital services must now be accessed online, from making benefits claims and bidding for social housing, to searching and applying for work and shopping around for better utility deals. The scale of this problem is enormous – in the borough of Southwark alone, 40,000 tenants lack the digital skills to go online.
Thames Reach has teamed up with the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, who generously provide funding, to develop iReach, a computer workshop for people with little or no IT skills. Sessions are delivered in an informal group setting at the Employment Academy as well as at hostels, day centres, and other Thames Reach projects across London. The focus is on practical help to get people online quickly.
Go On Southwark
Funded by Southwark Council, this programme sets up centres across the borough to assist people with their digital needs. Designed with sustainability in mind, these sites are based in the community, supported by tenant and resident associations, sheltered housing projects and other community organisations. A Thames Reach digital skills worker recruits, trains and supports volunteers to run hundreds of sessions for local residents.