Community First met with workers from the Glen Isla Project to offer a pilot programme of IT sessions to the participants in order to further develop their IT skills, build confidence when engaging in IT activities as well as provide the necessary resources to allow the women to be digitally included.
The Project was established in 2014 to work specifically with women in Angus who are going through the criminal justice system with a view to improving outcomes for those women. It was set up in response to the main findings of the National Commission on Women Offenders. The need was highlighted by local justice organisations to reflect the aspiration of person centred provision of services, developed through multi-agency working, to deliver a holistic approach to women’s needs.
The team were keen to move forward with the programme therefore we then met a group of potential participants to negotiate the learning which we could support during the sessions. We worked with the group to deliver person centred, needs based learning opportunities for those engaging with the project.
The group engaged with Community First over a three week period. Their learning aspirations included creating a digital copy of creative and personal writing, learning more about publishing poetry and children’s short stories online and researching various blogging sites with a view to creating a blog. Another participant further developed her android tablet skills to search for information online including searching for and booking discounted services. One participant further developed her knowledge and skills of word processing for use on her home laptop. Another participant worked on developing her typing skills within the context of improving her personal knowledge of addiction which she researched online.
Feedback from the participants was extremely positive.
‘I felt it was helpful and educational.’ Another stated that she now has the confidence to get out her tablet and give it a go. She also said, ‘Thank you! I have an insight now. I roughly know what I am doing. Absolutely brilliant!
In week two, one participant stated “It’s quite easy once you know how!” referring to using MS Word and saving documents. Another said that they found the information on addiction useful. One participant was very pleased with the extra saving booking tickets online gave her.
In the third week, a participant disclosed that she had received a second hand laptop and she was going to continue working on her new skills at home.
By the end of the pilot, 100% of the participants reported an increase in their digital knowledge and skills and 100% of the participants reported a positive impact as a result of their engagement with the ‘Digital First’ project.