Inverness Foodstuff (SCIO)
Charity registered in Scotland SC045221
Inverness Foodstuff provides free meals twice a week for homeless me & women living in Inverness. Since its inception we now provide a range of learning digital skills and arts & crafts activities in which people can participate. Another feature is that we receive donation of food from local retailers which has reached its sell by but not its use by date
This project will target people who are homeless and living in temporary accommodation in the city centre of Inverness. It will complement current service delivery, and provide an opportunity for homeless people to find out what the internet can offer them, what services they can access online, and how these services can help to improve their lives. Many existing service users are not engaging with any other support service or agency, and many do not have the digital skills to access the support they need. The project will take place from 1200 midday to 1600 alongside the food service, and will provide learning activities and resources along with opportunities for social interaction, delivered with a soft touch, non-threatening approach.
Sessional worker and volunteers recruited
project activities begin to be delivered
Mid project review carried out
End of project evaluation carried out
We delivered a project for people who are homeless and living in temporary accommodation in the city centre of Inverness, an area which suffers from high levels of deprivation. It is in the bottom 15% most deprived communities in Scotland. We delivered an introduction to the internet project, which provided an opportunity for homeless people to find out what the internet can offer them, what services they can access online, and how these services can help to improve their lives. We delivered the project in partnership with Merkinch Partnership who are highly experienced in providing learning and support activities for people with multiple barriers preventing them from moving on with their lives. The project was delivered in their Work Club space not far from the city centre and took place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12.00 midday to 4.00pm. The sessions were facilitated by an experienced sessional worker and gave participants opportunities for social interaction, delivered with a soft touch approach so that the project is not threatening, informal and easy to access. Participants were supported to get online, find out what they can access online and what services and information are available. The learning focussed on social media, listening to music, using emails to communicate, using search engines to look for information, downloading and saving information, claiming benefits,opening online accounts, accessing local news, being creative (e,.g editing photos, writing letters, making cards), and how to use the internet safely. The project was set up on an internet cafe model and people were able to learn at their own pace, and sessions were not time limited. Those people who took part in the project who wanted to increase their skills were signposted or referred to other local community learning programmes. Sessions were also attended by representatives from our partner agencies - Highland Council, NHS Highland, Job centre Plus. Participants in the project had access to free WiFi, a mobile phone, laptops,stationery as well as advice and support from a range of partner agencies. Participants in the project were the people accessing our food project, who were living in temporary accommodation, marginalised from society, and facing multiple barriers preventing them from moving on with their lives. Typically, social isolation, anti social behaviour, including violence,drugs and/or alcohol abuse, poor physical and mental health, learning difficulties, other addictions such as gambling on scratch cards and slot machines, and ex-offenders. We provided a first stage engagement project supporting people to get online, helping them to access information, resources and skills to improve their situation and give them hope for the future.
We have been providing help and support on a range of different issues: Digital skills - getting to know the keyboard, internet search skills, using e-mail, using a memory stick, online safety and security. Social media, listening to music, downloading information, accessing news online, opening online accounts, claiming benefits Mentoring - signposting and referring people to additional information and support services, identifying additional training needs and one to one action planning sessions to identify next steps. Personal development - identifying skills and strengths using online resource My World of Work My Skills Job seeking skills - going online to look for work, researching jobs in the local labour market, online job applications, interview skills Producing a CV These activities are delivered on a one to one basis and also as group drop-in sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12.00 to 4.00pm.
The project has been up and running since April 2017 and we are successfully delivering our Introduction to the Internet learning programme. The project is taking place every week for 4 hours per session, delivered by an experienced sessional worker assisted by 2 volunteers. So far we have covered a range of learning topics: Using Facebook to keep in touch with people and feel more connected Listening to music on You Tube Creating and using an e-mail account Using Google to search for information online Claiming and maintaining benefits online How to be safe online Downloading information Saving information on to a memory stick. The sessions are on a drop-in basis and are well attended, those people who need additional support have access to one to one sessions with the sessional worker. The internet café style of the project works well, people tend to eat first and then take part in the internet activities. We are also referring participants to our partner organisations such as Merkinch Work Club for additional learning and support. Other organisations have also been in attendance at the sessions such as NHS Highland, Dental Team, Harm Reduction, Highland Council Employability Team, Housing and Street Pastors.
We are continuing to deliver our weekly activities and have been covering the following topics: Introduction to the internet, internet safety, using social media, using e-mails, listening to music online, getting to know the keyboard, carrying out internet searches, online and mobile banking, using a memory stick, downloading and saving information, Universal Credit claims, creating accounts online. The sessions are on a drop-in basis and set up as an internet café with six laptops set out on three tables. Participants are able to make teas and coffees and there is a central table where people can gather to get to know one another and interact with one another. The activities are taking place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 midday to 4.00pm and are facilitated by two sessional workers. We provide free access to wi-fi, laptops, landlines, stationery and printing resources.