Our ICT suite has been running for a month now, and is attracting Lewisham residents. The ICT suite is open from 1-5pm every Tuesday. Every computer has Microsoft Office, an internet connection, and access to the printer. Today users were booking tickets using Event Brite and filling in a survey which would contribute to public understanding of unemployment.By Damian Griffiths at 12 Sep 2018
I will be training some carers basic computer skills for Carers Lewisham for the next month or so. I went to visit one of the centres where I will be doing the teaching - Lee Green Lives. I met Pat Coyne, who runs a club for people to brush up their computer skills. They have 7 computers with internet and printer access, and Libre Office. Unusually, two of the computers use the Ubuntu operating system, rather than Windows. Pat says the users find Linux as easy to use as WIndows. Two people turned up to work on the computers. The centre has some lovely knitted art-work on the walls, and very good up-to-date leaflets pinned to the cork boards. The centre is open most of the week, and has support sessions for people who are suffering from crises of various kinds.
By Damian Griffiths at 3 Sep 2018
In July Catbytes teamed up with 60 Up to run inter-generational techy tea clubs. Christina Israel, the director of 60 Up, calls this session HIP, standing for Honor Oak Intergenerational Project.
We ran four sessions at the Honor Oak Community Centre which brought young and old together with the aim of improving our understanding of the internet.
The older attendees of the sessions learned more about how to surf the internet and use email.
The younger people gained understanding of the difficulties that older people experience using the internet.
On the final session we all got on Skype and had a video conference which was slightly screechy due to the fact we were all in the same room. We are hoping to run more sessions at Honor Oak Community centre in the near future.
Thanks for Honor Oak Community Centre for lending us their ICT suite, and especial thanks to the fantastic young people who gave up their holiday time for the older folks!By Damian Griffiths at 25 Jul 2018
Altrist Energy are a Lewisham based energy saving consultancy. Tristan Owen, their founder, came down to Ewart Hall to offer free advice to our students about energy saving. Tristan answered questions about tariff switching, smart meters, ecologically sound energy, and, of course, whether or not energy companies are ripping us all off. Tristan has really in depth knowledge about the energy industry, and is able to impart it in an understandable and non-technical way. Find out more on the Altrist Website.By Damian Griffiths at 27 Mar 2018
Caroline White engages under fives with her singing and dancing sessions at different locations throughout Lewisham. I first encountered her at Ewart Community Hall, where she brought out my inner child while I was trying to work in the CatBytes office next door to her sessions in the main hall. Her classes are not only fun but educational. I am now able to recite the days of the week to the tune of the Adams Family tv series as a result of hearing her do it every Tuesday morning. She hasn't charged me for this, but we have got to know each other, and she has decided to move her website to the CatBytes host.
By talking to her, and finding out about her deal with her current host, I could see how it wasn't tailored to the needs of a micro-business like hers, which is similar to many of the clubs that run in Lewisham's community centres. I have proposed a package which I call Supported Hosting. With this deal, Caroline gets her hosting fee and domain registration, plus simple updates, such as changes to the dates and times of her sessions, or a new class added, all included for £60 per year. She doesn't have to worry about the technical details, or about large unexpected costs every time she wants to make a minor change. This is a deal which works for both of us, and it is made possible because CatBytes is committed to listening to people and finding out what works for them, rather than imposing a one-size-fits-all package.
You can find out more about Dancing Ducklings on their website, http://www.dancingducklings.co.uk/. You can also see them at the Telegraph Hill Festival on the 19th March. http://telegraphhillfestival.org.uk/day-10-monday-19-march/By Damian Griffiths at 3 Mar 2018