This week saw the last of our three sessions teaching basic IT skills to tenants at Blackmore house. It has been great fun getting to know Ruby, Prince, Claude and Chetra, and hearing their stories. Thanks, again, to Ray, the centre manager, for her assistance. Hopefully our paths will cross again, as they find new opportunities to develop their digital skills.
In fact, as Blackmore house shares its garden with Stanstead Lodge, there is an easily accessible opportunity for them. We started our regular weekly techy tea sessions at Stanstead Lodge last Friday. These will run every Friday 1-3pm. They are free of charge. As usual, tea, coffee and biscuits are provided.
This week was also the last week that Appian will come to help us at the techy tea clubs. Appian are a global software company providing business management applications to corporations. They recently acquired their thousandth employee. As a way of celebrating this landmark, they decided to offer their employees the opportunity to have some volunteering days where they would give their skills to a volunteering project rather than do their usual work. Jennifer Durina, who was managing the volunteering, told me she spent a long time searching for a suitable organisation to work with before she found us. Very often organisations that could provide opportunities did not seem to understand what Appian were looking for. One river clearance group she contacted asked her if she could send them some of Appian's free software. Unfortunately they did not seem to understand that Appian wanted to send volunteers to work with the local community, not just donate software.
We have had a great experience with Appian. This Monday Appian employees Sean and Michael came to the techy tea session at the Blackmore house, a sheltered housing scheme run by Chislehurst and Sidcup Housing association. Sean showed us a film he had made of a trip up Mount Olympus. The film was of an aerial drone flying round the team at the top of the mountain.
On Friday Siter, Paul, Billy and Ricardo from Appian came to our techy tea club at Stanstead Lodge. Billy helped Ruby with her digital skills, Ricardo and Siter helped Maureen, Graham and Gary find a replacement for Movie Maker to edit the film they are making about the centre. Paul helped out with a new IT club based in SL for people with learning difficulties. It has been a truly collaborative experience, and we have all learned from each other.