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Older people on a Leeds estate managed by Yorkshire Housing are to receive IT training – so they can make the best use of the free wifi that is due to be installed.

 Residents in the housing association’s Sherburn Court sheltered housing scheme on the Swarcliffe estate could benefit from wifi fitted in the downstairs communal areas by October.

 Yorkshire Housing are also donating a desktop computer for residents to use and have plans to stream films from the internet on a projector.

 And so tenants, who are all over 55, will receive IT training to help them make the most of the equipment.

 The housing association’s Swarcliffe PFI and Community Investment teams joined forces to offer a free IT course with partner organisation We Are Digital on Monday, July 15.

Conor Robinson, contract and performance team leader at Swarcliffe, said: “We’re getting ahead of the curve in time for a change that will really benefit customers.

 

“The use of new technology will open up a whole new world of opportunities for them.”

 The course was offered on an initial trial basis with eight places available to gauge interest.

 Twelve residents responded within days of the scheme first being advertised, which means some will sadly miss out this time.

 But staff now know the demand is there to offer additional runs of the same three-module course.

 It covers among the following topics:

  • IT basics (mouse, keyboard, desktop, files and folders);
  • internet browsing and using a search engine to find information;
  • sending and receiving emails and adding attachments;
  • filling in online forms, such as Universal Credit;
  • word processing and writing a CV;
  • online banking;
  • and social media (including Facebook and Twitter).

 ​Residents will receive a free Amazon Fire tablet upon successful completion of the course.

Conor added: “Everything they pick up on the course, they’ll be able to replicate on the tablet.”

 It will have useful apps pre-installed plus links to relevant websites, such as Yorkshire Housing.

Conor explained the world is changing and said: “A lot of banking is going online and you see local branches closing down on a regular basis.

 

“You can also find better deals online, job prospects and even just simply access information.

 

“There’s a lot of keen gardeners at Sherburn Court and I’m sure they’ll enjoy educating themselves about certain things.”

 The wifi​ will also enable the delivery of professional presentations on site and boost the scheme’s social calendar through events such as film nights.

 Sherburn Court boasts 86 properties for over-55s. All of the scheme’s tenants are eligible for the IT course.

 Yorkshire Housing manage 1,325 Leeds City Council-owned homes and 240 garages on the Swarcliffe estate in partnership with Yorkshire Transformations Ltd.

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