Hi. My name is Dave Richards and I am a Digital Inclusion Volunteer with ECLP Communities First.
ECLP (East Cardiff, Llanedeyrn and Pentwyn) is a project funded by the Welsh government and provides support to the local community and they were looking for volunteers to provide support in the digital inclusion field.
With a background in IT, I contacted them and, after a friendly chat over a cup of coffee, it was agreed for me to be a digital inclusion volunteer offering IT support at Digital Drop-in sessions at the Powerhouse, Llanedeyrn and at the Rumney Partnership Hub in Rumney.
Having taken early retirement to be a full time carer for my wife, I found that I still had some free time on my hands so for me volunteering for a few hours each week was ideal. I have lived in this part of Cardiff for many years so it feels good to give something back to the community, to feel part of the community and to be able to help others while providing myself with a sense of achievement and self-esteem, all the while having fun!
My role as a Digital Inclusion Volunteer
I am able to offer help with most problems associated with digital devices, whether they are laptops, IPads, Android Tablets or Smart phones. Anyone of any age is more than welcome to call in to see us, it is fair to say that most residents requiring help are of a more mature status which, for me, is great news as it shows that most anyone of any age wants to learn more about living, learning and working in our computerised age.
Recently, ECLP have started running a Code Club, teaching primarily 9-11 year olds how to code (although anyone is very welcome, regardless of age) and I am more than happy to be closely associated with this as it gives youngsters a good footing into the world of programming and coding prior to them starting high school. You will find us at the Rumney Partnership Hub every Tuesday and Thursday between 4:00pm and 5:00pm.
Working with children
Working with children, ECLP applied for me to have a DBS Enhanced Certificate, which allows me to be with children unsupervised and is something that I would not be permitted to do otherwise. It is comforting for parents to know that background security checks have been made and rewarding for me as the certificate stays with me even should I leave the ECLP Communities First.
Hours to suit me
I volunteer 3 or 4 times a week for between 1 and 2 hours a time, so I still have plenty of free time left for personal enjoyment although, should the volunteer hours ever be too great I could easily reduce them to more acceptable levels. I thoroughly recommend volunteering to anyone who has a background or hobby that can be used for a few hours of time each week to pass on skills and knowledge to others in the community.
Some of the common enquiries asked are about using the Internet (what if I pick up a virus?), what is Skype? How do I attach a photo to an email? What is Google, Facebook, and Twitter…? I was given this tablet now what can I do with it? What do they mean when they talk about ID Theft and Phishing? Is it secure to use my online bank and is it safe to use my credit/debit card to shop online?