Village life enters the world of technology
Talybont Village Hall in Dyffryn Ardudwy, North Wales, is a coastal village, struggling with the same problems as most villages in rural Wales – services in decline, lack of work leading to young families moving away and an elderly population feeling isolated.
A plucky crew of volunteers are determined to keep the community whole, and in 2009 secured a grant from the National Lottery to renovate and update the local village hall. Their vision was to have a modern hall, to attract people to the area, and to offer modern facilities to the area.
With this in mind they incorporated a café, which they lease out (so that there is always a presence in the building), as well as wifi and computers to make it an internet café. The hall has been a huge success and income from visitors covers the upkeep and employs one person.
To build on their success, the hall committee wanted to give more to the local community by offering IT training as part of the hall’s activities. However, distance from local colleges and being strangers to the world of IT meant that the committee were unsure how to proceed. Get IT Together Project Coordinator, Daniel Richards, organised a meeting to establish demand amongst the residents, and then organised lessons IT sessions in the hall (afternoon and evening) to meet the needs of the local residents.
Alun Gerrard of the hall committee said: “Without the help given to the community by Citizens Online it would not have been possible to enable local residents to enhance their IT skills, especially in a rural area devoid of services found in much larger communities”.
Daniel has also ensured continuity in the area by getting local further education providers on board to run additional, more advanced, courses in the hall.