Dunedin Canmore helps hundreds reach their potential with free computer classes

Hundreds of people in Edinburgh are turning their lives around thanks to free computer classes from a housing association.

Kevin Stewart visits DC

The Digital Skills for All project, which is part funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by Dunedin Canmore, part of Wheatley Group,

helped 285 people get online and improve their digital skills last year by providing personal tuition and group classes.

As a result, 62 of those people have landed jobs and 17 have begun full-time education. 248 gained an accredited qualification.

Scotland’s Housing and Communities Minister Kevin Stewart met with people who have benefited from the project and heard how it’s transforming lives at Wheatley’s Academy in Edinburgh.

Among those he met was Dunedin Canmore tenant, Justine Gordon, from Gilmerton in Edinburgh. The mum of two recently qualified as a teaching assistant after getting her Personal Development Award (PDA) at Edinburgh College thanks to skills she learnt at the Digital Skills classes. She said: “I knew I needed to brush up on my computer skills for the college course. I also wanted to do something to keep me busy while I was job hunting and the kids were at school.

“I think it’s great Dunedin Canmore are offering these types of community projects to tenants. They’re investing in people’s futures and giving people the chance to better themselves.”

The Minister also met tenants who have saved hundreds of pounds on their fuel bills thanks to Dunedin Canmore’s Home Energy Advice Team (HEAT).

HEAT provides advice and training to people who are in, or at risk of, fuel poverty by helping them to reduce energy debt, save money on fuel bills and heat their homes more efficiently.

Last year the HEAT team gave energy advice to over 800 Dunedin Canmore tenants, saving people an average of £192 each.

Mr Stewart said: “I’m really pleased to be here today and see the difference both the Digital Skills For All project and HEAT are making to people’s lives – with 248 participants gaining an accredited qualification and 62 moving into employment; and more than 800 people saving money on their energy costs thanks to the advice they received from HEAT.

“These are fantastic results and great examples of how our People and Communities Fund is delivering really positive outcomes to promote inclusion and tackle poverty.”

The Digital Skills for All project is part funded by a £82,500 grant from the Scottish Government’s People and Communities Fund and is run by Cre8te Opportunities on behalf of Dunedin Canmore.

The Home Energy Advice Team (HEAT) project is part funded by a £45,000 grant from the Scottish Government.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018