Announcing the Sheffield FreeTech Project!

Having already confirmed the Doncaster FreeTech Project, we are now also pleased to announce the Sheffield FreeTech Project, also funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, and available to adults across the city of Sheffield!

Sixteen action-packed weekly workshops starting on September 3rd will cover topics including ethical alternatives to the Big Data and Big Tech companies, free software, encrypted emails and messaging, and much more.

Workshops Coordinator Jane Watkinson said:

“We’re really pleased that thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund we’ve been able to repurpose our inclusive, personalised workshops for distanced learning via the internet, with our friendly facilitators sure to retain the fun and informative approach we’re known for.”

In addition to the weekly two-hour sessions, participants can choose to develop their learning through the week via the FreeTech Forum, or pick up useful hints and tips from the FreeTech Podcast.

Those interested in being part of these online workshops can email to be kept up-to-date on registering for the free sessions.

Announcing the Doncaster FreeTech Project!

Following on from FreeTech Project plans to offer our workshops online, we are proud to confirm that thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund, we are able to continue this approach in the coming months.

Beyond our Bentley FreeTech Project, we are now holding a series of workshops for adults 18+ in the entire Doncaster area, via the Doncaster FreeTech Project!

Our Workshops Coordinator Jane Watkinson said:

“Over our ten years in operation, we’ve enjoyed working with so many Doncaster communities, from Edlington to Thorne, and Stainforth to Bentley, where we’re continuing our work, but now also able to deliver our popular, fun and friendly workshops to people from across Doncaster as a whole via distanced learning, thanks to the support from the Community Fund. If you can get online, you can access our workshops, and it doesn’t matter if you’re an absolute beginner or even an aspiring programmer!”

The sixteen weekly workshops will take place Thursdays 1-3pm from September 3rd and cover topics as basic as email attachments and cloud storage, to more advanced such as free software, Linux, and how to spot a scam online, in addition to coming up with – and, yes, remembering – strong passwords, to name a few.

There will be the option to continue learning throughout the week via our developing FreeTech Forum and a FreeTech Podcast in the works, as well.

Doncaster residents aged 18 and over who are interested in accessing these free online workshops can email to be kept informed when registration is open!

Bentley FreeTech Project Coming Soon!

The FreeTech Project are proud to announce our first of several online courses – following on from our declared plans back in the spring when COVID-19 hit. With in-person workshops postponed indefinitely, we set about plans to deliver our workshops over the internet!

Funding from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust has enabled us to launch the Bentley FreeTech Project, for residents of the Greater Bentley area in Doncaster who are aged 18+. These online workshops will run weekly, Fridays, 9:30am-12:30pm from August 28th onwards.

Workshops Coordinator Jane Watkinson said:

“We’re really pleased that we can still deliver our workshops and connect people from a distance. We had a great deal of demand to deliver in Bentley, and we’re keeping our promise to do so, online, where we hope people can join our friendly facilitators.”

With a revised look, the FreeTech Project is moving forward with a fresh approach to delivery, not only via the relaxed and personalised learning in the workshops themselves, but via the launch of the FreeTech Forum where participants can choose to continue their learning and even help each other out. In addition, there are plans for the FreeTech Podcast, where people can pick up a few friendly hints and tips for free via the internet, in their own time.

Greater Bentley residents aged 18+ interested in attending these workshops can email to be kept informed on when free registration is open!

Our Response to COVID-19

In the wake of COVID-19, like many initiatives, we have been significantly impacted and we are facing a real challenge. As a not-for-profit organisation almost entirely dependent on grant funding, we are now having to reevaluate how we operate but also how we can still help – because we also want to do whatever we can, given our area of expertise, to help better connect people via technology and enable them to enhance their knowledge online during this difficult period, and beyond.

We know many of our past participants, and others like them, want to stay in touch with the people they care about, we know they want to access information, and we know they want to know how to do these things – at little or no cost. And we want to be here to help them to do these things.

We are currently exploring several options – from tutorial videos, to live online tuition, to web forums for our service users to stay connected to each other too, with our initiative driven towards making sure they have support in learning how to utilise this technology to stay in contact, continue learning, and keeping informed during this difficult time.

We are eagerly trying to identify funding sources so that we can deliver the bulk of the above to our valued service users and supporters, at low cost or even no cost – and we are working as fast as we can to develop a fundraising strategy in addition to a learning programme that can still be delivered in this challenging time.

We want to thank our participants, partners, and funders for their involvement and support so far. In the meantime, please do also stay safe, and stay smart!