housing organisation

Queens Cross Housing Association

summary of project

Queen’s Cross Housing Association has about 4200 homes and provides several digital inclusion learning support services, led by Hattie Kennedy, the Association’s Digital Inclusion Coordinator.
 
These include both drop-in and structured classes at premises in:

  • The Internet Suite in the Association’s offices in Queens Cross Central (5 PCs);
  • Dundasvale Residents Hall;
  • Windsor Street Community Hall (12 PCs); and
  • The Courtyard, Westercommon

The Internet Suite supports a local job club as well as drop-in services.

In addition, digital skills development features as part of their Historical Connections local history project, and supports young people aged 12-19 (who tend to have missed school) to gain access to digital technology and develop safe approaches to using it. 

The Association’s gardening programme is also supported by the inclusion of digital aspects to the learning.

Originally the classes were delivered by Glasgow Life but are now supported directly by a freelance trainer using Glasgow Life’s donated learning materials which support 6-week 2 hours ‘Getting Started with IT’ and ‘Online Basics’ courses (also delivered by Glasgow Life in public libraries). Drop in sessions are staffed by the Digital Inclusion Coordinator.

Close to 20% of customers in the Woodside Area are Mandarin speakers and a new project to support them will have a significant digital element to it.

WiFi access is provided in all centres and through MyFi (4G mobile data services sharing) outside learning centres.

The Association recognises the need for more staff to have mobile access to deliver its services.

who is it aimed at?

All Queens Cross Housing Association customers and others who stay locally

how are the projects funded?

A variety of funding sources have been accessed to provide the digital inclusion team

housing organisation resources provided

Digital Inclusion project workers

what partners are involved?

Glasgow Life

challenges:

  • Open access to WiFi provides no security or tracking services.
  • Support for foreign languages can be problematic.
  • Tenants increasingly require support for mobile devices.
  • Tenants are often best supported in their own homes, but this has been too time-consuming, and so too costly to maintain.
  • Whatever the hardware purchased at whatever stage of the digital inclusion work, it eventually ages and is costly to replace.
  • Equipment and spaces are relatively easy to provide, but more difficult to staff, and volunteers require to be recruited, trained and supported

lessons learnt:

  • Open access to WiFi provides no security or tracking services.
  • Support for foreign languages can be problematic…
  • Tenants increasingly require support for mobile devices.
  • Tenants are often best supported in their own homes, but this has been too time-consuming, and so too costly to maintain.
  • Whatever the hardware purchased at whatever stage of the digital inclusion work, it eventually ages and is costly to replace.
  • Equipment and spaces are relatively easy to provide, but more difficult to staff, and volunteers require to be recruited, trained and supported. 

The biggest success of the digital inclusion services has been with 8 people in sheltered housing all aged 65-85, who originally attended the Glasgow Life structured courses.  Now they come to the local history project, meeting on their own (initially supported by a weekly visit from the Digital Inclusion Coordinator but now able to use the MiFi hub on their own).  This group has experienced transformation in their lives, including Skype conversations with distant relatives, online shopping and self-driven use of the Internet for information discovery, and has now formed into what is effectively a learning club.

Modified 3/12/2016 by Craig Green