A computer system which will keep a community switched on to the benefits of the online world has been bought thanks to a joint effort by High Peak Mayor Tony Kemp, the University of Derby Buxton and a local business.
The four terminals have been installed at the Residents of Fairfield Association (RoFA) office and will be available for locals to use for everything from keeping in touch with relatives to looking for work and finding the cheapest electricity. Online access was identified as a need locally by RoFA, as anyone using the new Universal Credit system will struggle without it.
“Fairfield really is a great community, but we have to keep moving with the times, and what is missing is access to computers,” said RoFA volunteer Lia Roos. “That’s why this project is spot-on.”
The Mayor made a donation from his allowance to join with the university to pay for the computers, which were supplied by local firm JPLord Computers who have also agreed to provide free maintenance and support. The centre will offer drop-in access, free e-mail accounts for jobseekers and printing facilities for job applications and CVs.
“This is on their doorstep,” said Lia, who will use the computers to help people look for employment when RoFA’s new Job Club starts on May 1.
But the computers are for everyone: “We have the resources to help, whether it’s to switch your energy suppliers, keep up with a hobby or get elderly people in touch with each other on Facebook,” said Lia. “It cuts down on isolation, keeps minds active and brings the community together.”
The university’s Strategic Director Dr Peter Dewhurst said: “Here at the university we concentrate on helping people to help themselves – which is why the employability rate of our graduates is second to none – so it is a pleasure to help RoFA in its vital work.”