Charity and industry work together to connect local community
A Cornish village is leading the UK with an innovative project designed to encourage more people to take advantage of internet technology.
Citizens Online, a charity that campaigns for internet, information and communication technology access for all, will be working with BT to generate an awareness of information technology and the internet among the community of St Stephen in Brannel. The location of the first pilot is based on research which states that St Stephen is one of the lowest areas with connectivity in the South West, with only 34% of households online. The national average of households connected is over 50%
‘EverybodyOnline’ has appointed Ann Tomkins as the local project officer and she will work with other projects and partners around the villages of St Stephen, to ensure that all the citizens of the China Clay area have access to the many facilities and opportunities that already exist
John Fisher, chief executive of Citizens Online said: “We did extensive research prior to setting up the project and found that there are many untapped resources in and around St Stephen; however many people in the area are often unaware of what is available and how it could help them in their lives or lack the confidence or motivation to give it at try. We want to work with the community to show them the benefits of the internet, how they could learn new skills, help the kids with their homework, even order their prescriptions online, or just to simply have fun.”
Adrian Hosford, director of Social Policy for BT said: “BT is delighted to be supporting this unique project. It is the first of other similar projects planned across the UK. The China Clay area was chosen as there are many changes taking place locally and we feel that information and communication technology will be a very positive addition to this community.”
Open from 2.30 pm through to 7pm at the St Stephen Community Centre, the aim of the launch on Thursday 29th of August is to invite all members of the community into the centre to experience for themselves, the power of the internet. Lots of IT equipment will be available to use, which has kindly been supplied by the Circle Project, an initiative aimed at helping people in rural communities using the internet and IT equipment. Visitors will be invited to have a go on a computer linked up to the Internet, take pictures of their friends with digital cameras, or see themselves on close circuit TV. There will be entertainment throughout the afternoon and there is even a supervised children’s area.
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