Minister finds out how technology can help communities at South Yorkshire Centre
Organisations could do more for their communities by making better use of free technology, Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd said today as he visited a UK online centre in South Yorkshire. He was there to mark the development of a new website to help community workers use more free digital tools to make their lives easier.
The visit was hosted by the Lifewise Centre in Rotherham, a multi-agency purpose-built facility that provides education, prevention, intervention and rehabilitation to communities across South Yorkshire. It was attended by a number of Community Leaders from across England, all keen to share their views on the power of technology to help communities achieve more.
The event was organised to announce the development of a new website by Online Centres Foundation, “the Big Community Hub”, that will revolutionise the way community organisations work, through the use of digital tools.
The Lifewise Centre is one organisation that is certainly using technology to improve the lives of residents. As part of their Community Hub programme, led by Online Centres Foundation, the organisation is using technology to communicate more broadly about tackling gun and knife crime, as well as supporting literacy and reading issues in school using Kindles and tablet-based technology.
Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd said: “Visiting the Lifewise Centre, and having the opportunity to talk to such an inspiring group of community leaders reiterated just how valuable technology can be to the voluntary and community sector, not only in changing the lives of people living in communities, but also by allowing organisations who are often both time and cash-poor to do more for less using online tools. I’m looking forward to seeing the Big Community Hub website develop further, and believe it will be a vital tool for the sector as a whole.”
Helen Milner, Chief Executive of Online Centres Foundation says: “I’m passionate about the benefits technology can bring, to communities, individuals and organisations. Bringing this group of committed and inspirational community leaders together to share their views on what technology can do for them and their communities was really useful, and it was great that Nick Hurd could see first hand just how much great work is going on in communities putting technology at their heart.
Annika Small, CEO of Nominet Trust who have funded the development of the Big Community Hub. She says “At Nominet Trust, we’re great believers in the power that the internet can have in revolutionising the ways in which people work, interact and achieve in their communities, which is why we’re funding the development of the Big Community Hub. I think the website will act as a much needed resource, enabling community organisations to work smarter, and essentially do more, in their areas.”
The Big Community Hub website will be launched later this year, and will be piloted in Beta version in advance of its full launch.