The Cosmic team are 3 months into the Positive People project. If you’re not yet aware of Positive People go and have a read of the Positive People page. Cosmic are leading the digital inclusion element of the project across Devon and Somerset, training individuals and groups to get them up to speed with technology or enhance their skills, ready for work.
The Devon and Somerset teams have been getting really stuck in over the last 3 months, so how are they getting on? Here’s a roundup of how the project is going so far, straight from the horse's mouth:
The primary focus of these first 3 months has been getting feet under the table. Forming relationships with the project partners, specialist organisations and finding events and venues to run engagement sessions and gadget shows. For the two project managers that’s been a huge amount of fun:
Vicky (team Devon)
“It’s been great working with a variety of partners and looking at how we can work together. There have been a range of engagement sessions being run from stalls at fun days to focused sessions at the Jobcentre Plus”
Jakki (team Somerset)
“This project is unlike others in that it aims to respond to demand so that the programme fits with individual needs. Not to say “this is how we are going to solve the problem and you need to fit into the programme”
To kick start engagement with the project, both teams bought a whole suite of new gadgets to take out and about. These range from virtual reality headsets and games consoles to fitness trackers and smart scales. The aim? To have gadgets that everyone could get excited about:
Emma (team Devon)
“We held a gadget show at the Hope Festival in Plymouth. It was a great turn out (I’m sure the sunshine helped). It was great to meet and chat to so many different people and there seemed to be a gadget for everyone to enjoy. The virtual reality was particularly popular, but the livescribe pen, which digitally records everything you write on a notepad, appealed to all ages. Mixing the classic pen and paper with new-age technology gave everyone something to relate to.”
Ben (team Devon)
“I have been tasked with setting up a variety of fun and engaging gadgets that can be shown off at workshops, events and gadget shows. Playing with everything from a dog tracking device to a PS4 is not something you experience in many jobs!”
Gadgets aside, it’s definitely the people that are getting the teams really passionate about the project.
Clive (team Somerset)
“I’m meeting some great clients who have some real hurdles to cross, but we are already making progress. A lot of this is down to teamwork within the different organisations involved in Positive People, and this is developing really well.”
Ben (team Devon)
“I enjoy getting out and about, meeting people in drop ins and helping them with whatever tech issue they may have. This makes each day unique...The number of people I am seeing has risen in the last few weeks. The awareness is certainly getting out there.”
Chloe (team Somerset)
“Meeting people and engaging them with tech in ways they never saw possible has been really fulfilling. What I’ve learnt so far is that even showing a person one new app at a gadget show can make a huge difference. It’s all about confidence”
The first 3 months of any project are always a bit of trial and error, however heading into July we can now clearly see the path ahead. We’ll let you know in a couple of months where the path has taken us.