The Hightown village pub has launched free computer training classes with the help of pubs organisation, Pub is The Hub.
Pub is The Hub has provided £1,800 in funding for The Hightown Hotel on Lower Alt Road in Hightown from its Community Services Fund for six mini tablet devices each with a cover, carrycase, extension cord and starter books. The aim is to teach beginners and improvers the basics of internet browsing, shopping online safely, using Skype or Facetime and learning about social media to stay connected with friends and family. A local volunteer, Janie Seal will run the five-week programme every Thursday from 31st March between 12 and 1pm and places will be on first-come/first-served basis.
The training will take place at the Hightown Pub Community Centre, the idea of licensee Geoff Miller and local resident Diane Lamont. Both saw the potential for a community meeting space within the village and have utilised an unused room at the pub since November 2014.
Since opening it has received funding from the Big Lottery and Sefton Council to install a new floor, disabled access and a toilet and is fully kitted out with comfortable seating and work stations. It is run by volunteers who open the centre for three hours each day from 12 to 3pm and visitors are able to read or borrow books from the library, attend clubs and have a coffee with friends. Outside of those hours the community centre is available to any local clubs or groups who wish to hold meetings and there is already a regular salsa class and a scrabble club.
Diane Lamont, a drama teacher and volunteer at the community centre said: “Since we opened the Hightown Pub Community Centre it has gone from strength to strength. There was nowhere for local people to meet and have a coffee in the area so this is a warm and welcoming space to chat, meet in groups and learn new skills. Feedback from regular visitors highlighted a need for very basic computer skills and we are thrilled that Pub is The Hub has been able to support us with the funds to buy the equipment. We urge anyone who fancies improving their computer skills to come along and sign up for a course.”
She added: “We would love to open the community centre for longer hours but would need more volunteers to come forward – if anyone is interested, please drop in and let us know.”