Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Digital Mentors

The scheme will be bringing together business people who are willing to share their knowledge and experience of the Internet with other people in the community who are interested in getting to grips with new technology. These volunteer Business Mentors will work alongside a range of local voluntary and community groups and their clients to achieve their digital goals.

This mentoring scheme will help drive significant cultural and social change within Folkestone by enabling participants of all ages to make full use of the Internet, using email, podcasts, on line publishing tools and Social Networking sites.

Everyone will be encouraged to make full use of the range of support groups and facilities that already exist within the local community. They will also be encouraged to access the Internet and to take advantage of the expanding 'social networking' opportunities in an effort to improve access to the public services available to them and the wider benefits the digital age has to offer.

Initial levels of interest have been most encouraging - at the moment we are asking would be mentors to sign up with a profile on http://shepway.ning.com/ and we will be in touch with details of training sessions and when we can start.

If you are a potential mentoree or run a voluntary or third sector group in Folkestone that could benefit from support from a mentor to help access these technologies - please call Caroline Chambers on 01303 270022.

Why Are We Running Digital Mentors?
Recently we set up a Facebook group to garner support for keeping the Leas Cliff Lift Open. Within 2 weeks the group had grown to over 2,800 members - from Shepway and nationwide - sharing their views, opinions and offering support for the campaign.

Our Social Networking Explained Course has enabled members of the business community to use these tools to help grow and expand their business. This blog is tweeted and shared with over 1,200 users on Twitter. The possibilities are endless!

Social Networking and Web 2.0 open up all sorts of opportunities for individuals to share photographs with their families, to shop online, access government services, campaign and lobby their council, find out about new products and services and be part of a connected communication process.

Many parts of our community here in Folkestone are simply not able to access these tools, and our new Digital Mentors project aims to connect those that can with those that need.

This project has been made possible by support from Awards for All and the East Kent and Coastal Primary Health Care Trust. Our mentoring scheme will encourage local businesses in Folkestone to support their local community both directly and in conjunction with the voluntary sector, in more ways than just giving money. It gives their staff a real and direct link to the wider community.

Why not join us?

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