Get IT Together – Leeds supports new community centre

Published: Nov 4th, 2013 | Author: Laura Simpson

In Leeds, BT, Leeds City Council and Citizens Online are working together to deliver the Get IT Together Programme, a community development approach to digital inclusion, helping people in Leeds to benefit from gaining on line skills.

Vic Berry, Project Coordinator for Get IT Together – Leeds, recently attended the opening of a new community resource centre in Belle Isle called BITMO’s Gate

Belle Isle Tenant Management Organisation (BITMO) is a locally based organisation run by tenants of Belle Isle estate in Leeds.  GATE was chosen as the new name for the community space as it reflects the purpose of the building as somewhere for local people to ‘Get ?Advice, Training and Employment’.

The centre was officially opened by Hilary Benn, MP for Leeds Central and Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on 25 October 2013.

The centre is situated in a former library and includes a resource centre with a computer room that is available for local residents to use.

During the opening, Vic Berry discussed with Hilary Benn how Get IT Together – Leeds is supporting the new centre. He explained that the project is delivering drop in IT taster sessions to help encourage people to get online and learn new skills, ahead of participating in follow on sessions that can help them to become competent confident internet users. All the computers have been provided by Leeds Learning Net which provides secure public internet access.

During his keynote speech, Hilary Benn spoke about training and employment and how the centre can help link the Belle Isle community to the opportunities in Leeds city centre, which is so clearly viewed from Belle Isle Circus.

He said: “It is appropriate that it’s called GATE. If you think about a gate, you walk through it and you’re not entirely sure what you’re going to find on the other side. We want people to take that step and find out what’s inside, what they might learn, what they can contribute.”

Vic Berry commented: “The taster sessions are very popular and we have already had expressions of interest from local residents to start a regular class. We have shown learners seeking employment how to set up Government Gateway accounts so that they can search and apply for jobs online.”

Get IT Together in Leeds is supported by BT’s Connected Society programme, BT’s commitment to help people right around the world gain the skills and confidence they need to join the online community and Leeds City Council.

For further information and to book a place on a course in Leeds

Vic Berry, Get IT Together – Leeds, Project Coordinator

Email: vic.berry@citizensonline.org.uk

Telephone:  07780 480 968

Photo used with kind permission of Kenneth Ingram  and South Leeds Life

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