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Cloud 9 expands into Denbighshire

An initiative which started in Caerphilly, with the aim of providing increased access to digital technology to school pupils and their families, has successfully moved in Denbighshire.

The Cloud 9 project has been led by Digital Communities Wales and various partner organisations in a number of local authority areas in Wales.

In Denbighshire, it was identified that a lack of access has had a negative impact on the social, economic and academic achievements of families as a whole. This was leading to increased household costs, reduced communication skills, inability to look for better paid jobs, lack of access to deals on household products, goods and services. It also has a negative impact on the children’s attainment at school.

Digital Communities Wales worked with the Communities First (CF) Team in North Denbighshire / Rhyl for assistance in taking this issue forward. The CF team quickly identified Christchurch CP School as a likely partner.

Subsequent approaches were then made to 4TC, a social enterprise that could help with the technical element of delivery – refurbishment of computers to be used in the initiative, and ongoing technical support. G2G Communities CIC also came on board to develop and deliver the training. The school provided a venue for the training to take place.

Seven families (parents and children) went through the initial Denbighshire Cloud 9 course, which covered a range of topics including computer basics, getting online, using the Internet safely, using email and accessing public services online.

Additional sessions were also delivered, which looked at using a tablet computer, computer qualifications and use of digital technology for work.

The course had a very positive impact, with families increasing in skills and confidence around computers and technology, improved attainment for pupils and greater communication between the schools and parents attending. It was also established that some parents will progress onto further, more formal qualifications in ICT as a result of these sessions.

Another offshoot of this project was that G2G Communities and 4TC became keen to develop this programme concept and deliver it in other schools in the region.