Meet Nigel Lewis Coastal Housing’s Digital Inclusion Co-OrdinatorDigital2.jpg

 

We asked Nigel some questions about Digital Inclusion...............
What is Digital Inclusion?  

 

In a nut shell it is keeping tenants informed and engaged with the wider community and the rest of world, by using digital technology including computers, tablets and smart phones to communicate with people and organisations.

 

My role is to engage with our tenants, and show them how to access the internet, set up an email account and fill in online application forms. Also do other fun things like Skype, Social Media, help with family tree, how to use free tools on Google Mail, free messaging apps. Plus direct tenants to our web site and apps we are developing to access our services 24hrs a day online.
I particularly target the tenants whom require Internet Access for welfare benefits, as Westminster and Welsh Government’s have a long term aim for ALL claimants to make claims online .  Universal Credit is coming to Wales and Coastal areas this year.
What are the Benefits?
Digital1.jpgTenants can benefit by accessing online information, from help with filling in online welfare benefit forms; finding out about hobbies; researching their family history; saving money by on-line shopping;  improving education, life chances, employment and skills; talking to long distance family and friends, .
I think of the Internet as accessing all the libraries in the world at once.
Do I need a Computer to Join?
When I am working with a local community, I don’t need an IT suite, just a basic empty room to fit in at least four or five people.  If there is no equipment, I come fully loaded with the IT equipment to carry out the training.
Nigel.jpg
 
 
How much computer knowledge do I need?
None whatsoever.  Digital Inclusion is for all ages, irrespective of ability.  Just your enthusiasm!
 
 
Free Digital Training SessionsMike Gwyther.png
My most recent session I organized was at Llys Dewi Sant, Gorseinon. I attended a coffee morning in December and 12 residents turned up, whereby 8 agreed to join our free “How to use a Tablet “ course. 6 of the residents went out and purchased tablets within two weeks of the course and started practicing in their homes. Things they learnt was, how to navigate around web sites, how to download Apps, how to set up and use email accounts (Gmail), How to take photo’s and email them or attach them to applications, and how to use Skype!

All the tenants were really enthusiastic and thoroughly enjoyed the course. I received funding from Communities 2.0 which helped employ a tutor to help run the course as well. I also provided additional one to one support in their homes to help them set up and connect to wifi, download Apps, and any support they required.
Mike Gwyther was one tenant who purchased a tablet during the course and now uses it every day. He said about the course "I'm thankful to coastal and in providing this marvellous opportunity for us silver surfers to learn about tablets. A really wonderful course. Never thought I'd do this at 70 years of age. Great fun and you can find out lots on the internet. I bought an Acer tablet after the first week of the course and love it!! It's given me a new lease of life."
If you are interested in finding out more, or would like me to hold a session in your local community,, please call me on 01792 479274, or email me nigell@coastalha.co.uk. Tweet me @nigel_coastal.

 

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Brush up on your basic IT skills at one of our free computer classes at Coastal Offices, Swansea, under our Coastal Gets City Centre Online project. Contact Nigel on 01792 479274 to book on a course.