Village Community Services is a community centre operating on the Northern Gold Coast for over 20 years. They are a leader in the community in regards to social connectedness, providing free or low-cost activities in an inclusive environment.
Becoming a Be Connected Network Partner has opened up new doors to technology classes and digital literacy programs for their community. Jennifer, digital mentor at Village Community Services, says, “Be Connected is a wonderful service that we have incorporated into our suite of programs. We have a strong number of senior members and this program has allowed our centre to offer computer training and support to them.”
Their digital program, Travelling Screens, offers one-on-one and group training, both in the community centre and out in the community. The program has been used to teach beginners to access computers and use their phones efficiently, as well as supporting participants to connect with relatives, especially grandchildren, through social media.
The group classes provide a communication network for their participants. “In a recent class, one participant was interested in genealogy and another was connecting to the Hobbies topic to learn more about his family history. Now, these two participants are supporting each other to find families and friends.”
Village Community Services has received both an Activation grant and a Building Digital Skills grant. The funding has given them the ability to introduce computer courses without stretching their budget. “We use the Be Connected Learning Portal in our classes for participants, and also to train our mentors.” They believe being part of the Be Connected Network has been a good marketing tool for the centre. “We had Be Connected shirts made up for our staff to wear (pictured) and we’re finding that every time we wear the uniform it promotes conversation in and around our centre and other centres we are visiting or networking with.”