Free for all IT suite

Steve Manwaring gives advice to service user Alistair at the b@sement SUS-150521-161554001
Steve Manwaring gives advice to service user Alistair at the b@sement SUS-150521-161554001

Local people can now take advantage of free training and access to the latest touch screen computers in Hastings town centre. Steve Manwaring, Chief Executive of Hastings Voluntary Action [HVA], officially opened the refitted computer suite known as the b@sement in Cambridge Gardens, run by Education Training Consortium Sussex.

The computers were funded by a Big Lottery Grant from Awards for All an local people who may need help with job seeking, or simply how to get online, now have access to the latest technology.

Steve Manwaring says there’s a growing need to help people to access services that are increasingly being offered online.

He said: “HVA is working with Hastings Borough Council to make sure that, as their services are increasingly going online, the people who are ‘digitally excluded’ can still access the help they need. That is why projects such as the b@sement are essential to help support this and by using up to date technology.”

Peter Carcas, Chairman of Education Training Consortium Sussex, added: “We needed to make sure that people had the latest computers as with tablets and smart phones all being touch screen, not to mention self scan tills at supermarkets, it is easier for people to learn how to use the technology.”

“Out of date computers are of little use to people when they need to access essential services online. We were worried about how people might cope with touch screen machines, but we have been pleasantly surprised how much easier it is now for most people to use the computers’.

The b@sement is part of the ‘Reach’ project funded by Hastings Borough Council and the Department of Works and Pensions, which aims to ensure that local people have the skills to use computers and can access them freely. Further information at: thebasementetc.weebly.com or call 01424 44469.