Launch of “I.T. in the Community”

Ireland’s largest housing association launched a new I.T. initiative in the South East in the Respond Community Centre, Árd na Ghleanna, Tramore, Co Waterford on Tuesday October 16th 2008 at 7:00pm. “I.T. in the Community” is a pilot programme by Respond Housing Association that allows residents access computer and Internet facilities in their local community building. This free IT initiative is the first of its kind in Ireland and Respond hopes to provide the service nationwide by 2010.

According to Margaret Fenton, Regional Community Development Co-ordinator:
“Respond is delighted to be able to offer this new service to our residents and their children. This initiative is all about residents having greater access to computing facilities and the Internet in their local area. In addition, I.T. in the Community will mean residents can create a website for their estate under the ‘Mo Bhaile’ Project. The aim of this project is to give free websites to community and voluntary groups to make information about their neighbourhood available to everyone on the Internet.”

In their recent pre-budget submission, Respond called on the Government to fund similar “I.T. in the Community” schemes in all Local Authority and social housing estates nationwide. The housing charity maintains that good IT skills are a requirement for many areas of employment, as well as offering other benefits. These include the increasing use of IT in education (e-learning), access to information online (including Government and statutory bodies), buying goods and services online, saving money through Internet banking and other online services.

“We anticipate a very positive response to the I.T initiative once the project is up and running” added Ms Fenton. “By getting involved, our residents can learn new skills, learn about their local area, help enhance the profile of their community and advertise upcoming community events.”

Respond is Ireland’s largest housing association. The organisation seeks to create a positive future for people by alleviating poverty and creating vibrant, socially integrated communities. They do this through providing access to education, childcare, community development programmes, housing and other supports. Respond has constructed more than 4500 units of accommodation nationwide, with almost 600 of these in Waterford city and county. Additional information on “I.T. in the Community” can be obtained by visiting our website or emailing info@respond.ie