I-pads for the Learning Centre: the WDT board has approved the purchase of two I-pads and accessories up to a maximum of £850, for use in the Learning Centre and Digital Inclusion projects. These will be a great help especially to the older people taking part in the two I-pad classes that are already going, and the the folk waiting for the new class to start in early 2014.
A business loan application that had been received by WDT has now been withdrawn by the applicant.
Training Grants: Nine further requests for grants towards the NFU Farm Safety course were approved, making a total of 22 people (of the 24 attending) being eligible for and each receiving a £50 grant towards this very important course.
The first two Ipad classes are well under way with great enthusiasm, so watch out for some bigger than usual requests for Christmas presents this year, or unexpected new Skype callers!
Classes will continue in 2014, with at least one new group starting. These can cover a wide range of needs:
– People completely new to using computers or going online
– People wanting to learn how to use Ipads (which can be much easier for older folk or those with difficulties with their hands)
– Anyone who isn’t confident about using the internet
The classes are very informal, go at your speed, and you can use whichever type of equipment suits you (Ipads, laptops, or desktop computers). You don’t have to have internet at home, and you don’t have to have your own computer or Ipad.
Contact Corinne on 07766 266656 or leave your name and phone number at the WDT office if you think you would like to know more, or know someone who would benefit or would like to have a taster session.
These are some of the courses in the pipeline for the new year:
A Business Start Up course (likely the very end of February) – course content and dates and times are still flexible, so if you think you would like to take advantage of this free course please contact Corinne as soon as possible. This may also be relevant to businesses who have already started but want some help putting together business plans for future development. Cost: free. Time: one to 1.5 days
Basic work related courses: for example Food Hygiene, First Aid, etc. If there are 6 people needing to do any of the Orkney College Short Courses then these may be able to happen on Westray. The new Learning Centre Coordinator will be contacting local businesses to find out what your training requirements are for the next year.
Evening self study group (for people doing ECDL or any distance learning). This can start when the new internet connection and computers have arrived for the Learning Centre
Drop in sessions for Ipad learners and anyone needing help getting online
Other courses – contact the new WDT Learning Centre Coordinator to discuss (through the WDT office). Things like SAGE accounting, manual handling, or recreational and leisure courses (genealogy online, digital photography, etc) have all been suggested already.
The Board have decided to advertise the post of learning centre coordinator which will be a one day per week post, on a self employed basis, for six months. This person will be responsible for ensuring the continued use of the learning centre and for assessing training needs on the island for both businesses and individuals.
The first two I-pad classes have happened with the tutors blown away by the enthusiasm from all the learners. They were really brilliant sessions with everyone getting stuck right into tapping, touching and swiping, and looking forward to next week. It was really inspiring to see older folk getting to grips with this new technology, especially as it was such an awful day to come out.
Please pass the word around to people you know who might want to have a go at using I-pads or laptops to get online – I’m already starting to take names for the next lot of sessions that will start in the new year. No charge, you learn just what you want to know in a very informal way, and you don’t need to have internet at home or have your own I-pad or laptop.
I-pad and laptop classes for beginners will be starting on Westray on Tuesday 19th November. These are through the Get IT together project. There is still time to sign up, so let Corinne in the trust office know if you are keen to learn how to get online.
Two training grants were awarded this month: Yvonne Rorie and Cindy Paterson both received 50% of the balance of the course fees (after ILA has been taken off) for SVQ in Health and Care.
The Community Association was awarded £291 for replacement of the lighting desk for the community hall.
The Westray NFU have received notification of support in principle towards an out-of-season goose cull on Westray. This is dependent upon the outcome of talks at the November meeting of the Orkney Goose Management Group meeting.
Janette Mackie from the Citizensonline Get I T Together programme has been out to Westray again, and had some really great sessions with older members of the community. Watch out for request for I-pads as Christmas presents this year – there will be an I-pad beginners course starting at the back end of October, as well as a beginners course for laptops or PCs. Both of these will be very informal and you will learn what you want to know, at your own pace. There is still time to sign up. Contact Corinne at the trust office if you are interested, or watch out for notices.
We are still waiting for the 6 new computers to be installed at the Learning Centre. What is taking time is that we have to wait for OIC, UHI, and Orkney College to all coordinate on this, as the big news is that there will be wifi installed there – that means that folk will also be able to use their own laptops.
Also, if you live in social housing (OIC, or OHAL) and don’t have internet but want it, let either Corinne or Janette (07788 395859) know, as there may be some assistance available.
Janette Mackie from the citizensonline Get IT together project is coming back out to Westray on September 11th and 12th to help anyone who either wants to get online, or do more online. There are also plans for more sessions later in the year, such as “doing your Christmas shopping online” and using Skype to keep in contact with family outwith Orkney. Janette will be visiting the Auk club on 12th September as well to show people how they can use the latest technology.
During September there will also be a Learning Centre drop-in (for any help with training enquiries, computer use, getting online, etc) :
Wednesday 2.00 to 3.30 and Thursday 2.00 to 3.30 pm
New computers for the Learning Centre are expected to arrive soon, thanks to Orkney College, and there have been requests for an evening session for general computer learning.