A computer learning project for adults in the East End of Glasgow is proving a success.
Healthy Bytes – a digital inclusion project run by Eastbank Health Promotion Centre in Shettleston – is giving adults in the area everything from internet education to a constructive pastime.
Anne Dunbar, Senior Health Promotion Officer at the centre, explained: "Our recent external evaluation of Healthy Bytes - which offers a range of computer courses and workshops - has shown just how effective the project has been so far.
"Survey feedback from participants - who are mostly aged 55 and over - revealed that the sessions have taught them a lot about technology that they thought was out of their reach and have shown what's really available for them.
"For example, the internet alone can open doors to people who are perhaps housebound, unemployed or suffering conditions such as depression, by linking them to support groups or just giving them an interest."
And Healthy Bytes achievements to date have ranged from seeing older people emailing relatives across the globe for the first time, to giving a fresh hobby and social life to those who feel isolated or depressed.
The Senior Health Promotion Officer added: "In short, the independent evaluation of the project showed that local people from several backgrounds have found our free sessions easy to access, easy to understand and a great way of socialising and learning at the same time."
So how does Healthy Bytes operate?
The project (which is run in Eastbank's computer suite) lets people join in learning sessions ranging from using scanners, to accessing health services and advice via the internet. This work is led by an IT tutor, while the additional ‘buddy scheme' lets volunteers support the teacher and help individuals get the most out of Healthy Bytes.
Anne said simply: "Because so much information about health and local services is easily available on the internet nowadays, we want to help as many people as possible to have the confidence and ability to access this.
"And to hear that we've aided participants' employability, skills and emotional well-being is a brilliant boost for all involved."
To find out more about the project or how to try the classes, call Eastbank Health Promotion Centre on 0141 201 9800.
For media enquiries, contact
Caroline Jarvie, tel: 0141 201 4447
NOTES TO EDITORS:
· Healthy Bytes has received accreditation from Learndirect Scotland and support from the New Opportunities Community and Adult Learning Fund
· The average completion rate for all classes in Healthy Bytes is around 70%