Our Database ICT Learning Centre opened in the old Co-op store in Henthorn Road early in 2002, and is an accredited centre for the European Computer Driving Licence. This is an exciting and innovative project. Firstly, it specifically targets people who, for various reasons cannot access mainstream ICT training, especially people with additional needs. Secondly, it works through existing community groups and projects, providing their staff and volunteers with the facilities and support they need to enable them to train their own members.
Groups using the centre include: Community Skillshare, Visually Impaired Persons Group, Braille IT, Ribble Valley Dyslexia Group, 18+ Group, Jigsaw Prospects and Jigsaw Training, local Yourth Groups, a minority ethnic Womens Group and an Islamic young person's group. In addition, a range of voluntary sector staff have worked towards their ECDL qualification.
Since D@tabase has opened, 57 disabled adults have benefited from ICT training, 24 of whom have been able to move on to further training or employment. In addition, 59 staff and volunteers from community groups have improved their ICT skills and qualifications.
In 2003, due to partnership support from Ribblesdale Technology College, Javelin Computers and Lancashire County Council, we are expanding into the remainder of the store to meet the growing needs of user groups. The new provision will include a youth cyber cafe environment, designed by young people, and opening in the evenings to encourage young people off the streets and into constructive activities. There will be additional informal adult provision, state-of-the-art multimedia, and specialist hardware and software to ensure that disabled people have full access to the exciting worold of Information and Communications Technology.