You hear talk about how people in our community are socially excluded but do you really understand what it actually means for our residents?
An example of this is what can happen when people suffer a range of linked problems, such as unemployment, low income, ill health, bad housing or even family breakdown. This, in turn can lead to further difficulties such as the negative impact on people’s well-being, children’s schooling or general family life. That’s why the Trust is taking the lead in making a ‘change’ to people’s lives, ‘NOW’.
So we have linked up with a Social Enterprise project in London called Eco-Computer Scheme who recycle computers and sell these to low income families. This work is undertaken by unemployed volunteers that learn a new skill and the profits are then ploughed back into training others. It also prevents the computers ending up in landfill sites. By using a small amount of money from our Better Communities Fund, our Financial Inclusion Officer, Nazma Abdul-Karim, was able to secure 25 computers for our tenants and leaseholders.
We ran a competition in our residents’ newsletter (Gateway News) and via text messaging. It attracted a huge amount of interest for a ‘free computer’ which included 12 months warranty and support from Eco-Computer Systems.
We had our winners’ event at Gateway House last week. Gavin Dunn, the Director of the project raised the benefits of having a computer in the home such as access to shopping or utility deals, help with children’s schoolwork and generally being able to stay in touch with friends and family.
I just love seeing a smile on people’s faces whether it be children or adults and the winners were so delighted (some of these included residents from our sheltered schemes) who had arranged for their sons or grandchildren to come around that same evening to connect the computer up for them.
I was of course on hand to offer my incredible expertise and the odd tip or two to help them start surfing the net.
It is these small changes to people’s lives that break down barriers and help people to achieve their full potential for the future and help make their lives that little bit easier.
To find out more information about the Eco-Computer Scheme or anything else happening at the Trust, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.