Digital Skills pop-up to launch in The Potteries Centre

A new facility is opening in The Potteries Centre to help people in Stoke-on-Trent get access to digital learning opportunities and equipment.

Discoverdigitalforweb

The Discover Digital pop-up shop is open Wednesday to Saturdays in the Potteries Centre.

Our pop-up shop puts Discover Digital right in the city centre and we hope to get people excited about using digital technologies and confident to try new things.

Nicola Gratton, Associate Professor of Community and Civic Engagement

Opening this Saturday 23 April at 10am on the second floor of the shopping centre, the Discover Digital pop-up shop is run by Staffordshire University and VAST, in partnership with nine other community and education partners.

Funded by the Community Renewal Fund, the Discover project aims to help more people in Stoke-on-Trent to get online by providing grants for equipment and community-based initiatives in addition to free training and activities.

Nicola Gratton, Associate Professor of Community and Civic Engagement at Staffordshire University said: “Discover is all about finding out what the real barriers to digital inclusion are and working together with local communities to find a solution to these. Our pop-up shop puts Discover Digital right in the city centre and we hope to get people excited about using digital technologies and confident to try new things.

“We will also run sessions which are aimed at helping people to stay safe online, get better access to essential services and to be creative.”

Open Wednesday to Saturdays until May 29, the Discover Digital pop-up shop invites members of the public to drop-in for digital support, to discuss with Discover Community Connectors what prevents people going online and to have a say in the programme of activities. In addition, there is the chance to win some great prizes for repeat visitors.

Lisa Healings Chief Executive of VAST added, “The world is moving online very quicky and it is difficult for those not able to engage digitally to fully participate. Everything from booking hospital appointments and vaccinations to keeping in touch with friends and family or completing educational assignments has moved online and the COVID pandemic only made this happen faster.

“Those unable to access digital services, either because they cannot afford the equipment or do not have the skills or confidence to use it, are becoming increasing isolated and disadvantaged. Through the Discover project we want to help the people of Stoke better access the digital world and ensure that nobody is left behind.”

The new unit hopes to help people with a number of basic skills include setting up an email address and using a smartphone and workshops and drop in sessions will be adapted to respond to the needs and interests of whoever walks through the doors.

Workshop themes include:

  • How to get started online
  • How to use social media
  • How to save money using online tools
  • How to make your own podcast

Discover Digital is a partnership of organisations funded through the UK Community Renewal Fund. Partners in the Discover project are:

  • Staffordshire University
  • VAST
  • Beth Johnson Foundation
  • The Community Foundation for Staffordshire
  • Stoke-on-Trent College
  • Wavemaker
  • YMCA North Staffordshire
  • Caudwell Children
  • Stoke North Big Local
  • The Dove Service
  • Keele University

To find out more about Discover Digital, email hannah.trzoska@staffs.ac.uk

 

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