Wednesday 17th February is Digital Learning Day.
The Sunnyside Club is a Social Enterprise, aimed to help and support adults in the Bolton area by hosting a huge variety of activities including IT and football related events to get the whole family involved. They offer the chance to learn new skills and aim to promote educational opportunities for everyone.
The Club offers free adult computer classes every Thursday, ran by qualified teachers and lecturers on a voluntary basis. These IT classes enable adults in the local area to gain new skills which are now required in most working environments, helping their employability prospects and also boosting their confidence.
IT skills help in the workplace, but are also a great skill to have in a social environment. Social networking websites such as Facebook are a great way for individuals to keep in touch with family members and friends people may have lost touch with. The Sunnyside Club has a lot of individuals from the Asian community, who can now keep in touch with family members still living in Asia via Facebook and email. This enables them to watch young family members they don’t always see grow as well as allowing them to have regular contact without the high cost that comes with making inter-continental calls.
As a Social Enterprise, The Sunnyside Club reinvests any profits made back into helping the local community. Their IT classes have been a huge success, and because of this they have been inspired to get the rest of the community involved in community activity to enrich local lives.
Football is Britain’s most popular sport, and gives a lot of people who are inactive, both physically and in their community the opportunity to get involved in an activity that they enjoy, and can get involved in no matter what their fitness levels are.
The group targeted individuals who are isolated in their homes to invite them to get involved in the football league. Studies have shown that keeping fit has helped to improve people’s mental health and general wellbeing.
As well as inviting new people, the football competition invited those who had thoroughly enjoyed the IT classes to get involved and promote their love of the group to the wider community in order to get more people involved and more people learning new computing skills.
One 49-year-old attendee said: “I could not use computers at all. The club gave me the opportunity to learn the basics via a patient tutor. I was able to meet friends and socialise at the same time.
“When I was younger I used to play many sports but now do not have the time. Having get-togethers and reminiscing about previous encounters helps me with my mental state of mind. This has a positive impact on us a family unit.”