Wheatley partnership provides free digital access at community library

wheatley_groupPeople living in Castlemilk can now make use of a new state-of-the-art digital learning centre providing free internet and computer access at their local library.

The computer learning centre at Castlemilk Library is the first ‘Click & Connect’ centre to be opened in one of Glasgow’s libraries.

Click & Connect is a partnership between Glasgow Housing Association (GHA), its parent company Wheatley Group, and Glasgow Kelvin College to provide free internet access in Glasgow communities. There are more than 30 centres in neighbourhoods across the city.

The latest Castlemilk facility is the first to be delivered in partnership with Glasgow Life.

The centre, which includes 14 PCs, provides support from tutors from the college and the library to help people get online and learn new skills.

With more vital services going online, lack of access and understanding of technology can create huge divides across Glasgow. Using the library’s position at the heart of the community, the Castlemilk facility will create more opportunities for local people to engage with computers and technology, regardless of their age or ability.

People can get advice on how to access job sites, create a CV, get online shopping discounts, keep up to date with welfare reform changes, fill in online forms and register for GHA’s new online services.

Andrew Olney, head of libraries and communities, Glasgow Life, said: “With more than 30 per cent of Glaswegians still without access to fixed broadband at home – that’s around 86,000 households across the city - even the thought of turning a computer on or sending a text message can be a daunting prospect for many of our citizens.

“Glasgow Libraries run fantastic computer courses every week in our 33 libraries, but sometimes people need dedicated support to encourage them to try something new and step outside of their comfort zone. That’s why this brand new Click & Connect centre is so important, not just for the people of Castlemilk, but for the people of Glasgow.

“I am delighted that, thanks to our partnership with Wheatley Group and Glasgow Kelvin College, this innovative learning centre will support our citizens for years to come.”

GHA chair Gordon Sloan added: “Getting online is no longer a luxury – it can make a big difference to people’s lives. Click & Connect helps people in GHA communities find work, go on to further education, save money on their shopping bills and access our new online services.

“We’re delighted to work with Glasgow Life and Glasgow Kelvin College to open this new centre for tenants and the people of Castlemilk.”

Alan Sherry, Principal of Glasgow Kelvin College, added: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to build on our hugely successful partnership with Wheatley Group by expanding access to high-quality community-based learning and resources for the residents of Castlemilk. We are also keen to develop our existing effective partnership with Glasgow Life through this impressive centre.

“The Click & Connect initiative and Castlemilk Library will support local people by equipping them with relevant skills and encouraging them to engage fully with their communities, build capacity and create a learning culture for themselves and their families. The resource also helps local people in their job search activities. Key to the success of this initiative is the spirit of partnership. Glasgow Kelvin College looks forward to the future and the continued development of this flourishing partnership with Glasgow Life and Wheatley Group.”

The Click & Connect centre at Castlemilk Library is available to current and new library users.

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