The College of North East London have found an unusual way of delivering IT training in the community. It uses a large bus called The Orbit.

The new bus, which first ventured onto North London streets at the end of September, allows people of all ages to access computers in order to learn how to use the internet, email and standard computer packages such as word-processing and spreadsheets.

The bus therefore makes regular trips into the community to carry out training. One of its first regular outings will be to Clive Lloyd House, a sheltered housing scheme run by Presentation in Tottenham.

Although Clive Lloyd House has five computers, many of the residents had very limited knowledge about using them. So the Scheme Manager, Eric Da Silva, contacted CONEL to find out about IT training courses. With the aid of a grant from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), the bus recently visited the scheme to deliver a three hour IT taster session to residents.

It was great, said Ken Chung, Secretary of the Tenants Association. I have not used a computer in a long time, but we started off learning the basics such as how to use the mouse and how to type a basic document. I am now looking forward to learning more, such as how to use and search the internet and how to send an email.

Email will be particularly useful, as it will mean many of the residents will be able to talk to relatives abroad cheaply and more regularly. Plus sending pictures of grandchildren will be a new luxury.

The plan is to extend the course to ten weeks, delivered for three hours every Thursday afternoon. Open to all residents, the sessions will also be attended by a womens community group who visit the centre on a regular basis to attend craft classes.

Says Sulieman Sheikh, Chairman of the Residents Association, This facility is excellent. The training is delivered practically on my doorstep, it is an interesting way to fill an afternoon and best of all its free! I am really looking forward to putting it to good use.

So everyone, it seems, is happy. For Eric Da Silva theres an added bonus. Once the members of the Residents Association have completed the course, they can type up their own meeting minutes in future! he says.

Notes to Editors:

1. For further information or to book the Orbit bus to deliver courses in your area, please contact Glenn Bell on 020 8442 3873 or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2. Presentation is the UK's largest black-led Social Investment Agency, committed to investing in communities. Their Head Office is in Clapham Common and they also have properties and Sheltered Schemes all over the UK.

3. CONEL won funding from the Learning and Skills Council under the Funding for Basic Skills in Local Communities Project 2003/04. For further information on the LSC, visit


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