One of the most unusually located UK online centres is thriving, thanks to a Community Outreach grant from UK online centres and Nominet Trust. Tropical Spice, an Indian Restaurant in the heart of Stourbridge, is helping members of the community get online for the first time somewhere they might not expect.
The inspiration for the project came when Foysal Ahmed, who runs Employment and Training Solutions UK online centre, identified the restaurant as somewhere he could run sessions to get people started with computers and the internet. Unemployment in the area is high, and many people lack the basic computer and internet skills they need to get into work.
“Tropical Spice is already a thriving restaurant that holds things like curry clubs and networking events. As it’s open during unsocial hours, we identified is as being a good place for us to hold some sessions. From working with learners, we know that it’s really important that they can get flexible access to computers when they need them - so Tropical Spice seemed like the perfect solution!
The unusual new outreach location has already been a success! Foysal says: “By running classes after 5pm, which we wouldn’t normally do at our centre, we were able to work with lots of new learners who couldn’t get involved before, usually because of work or family commitments. This meant we were able to open up our services to a whole new group of people. Because it’s a comfortable, informal location it’s been much easier to attract new people, which has been a real success!”