Putting the Community First into digital skills for all

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A pair of community-minded and digitally-savvy Angus women have started a social enterprise project to enable people to access the digital landscape of the 21st century.

Carol Malone from Forfar and Pauline Lockhart from Carnoustie are the brains behind the ‘Community First’ project which, according to their motto, has one simple aim - “See a need, meet that need.”

Community First are offering tailor-made digital training.

Community First are offering tailor-made digital training.

They come from very different backgrounds. Pauline was in retail and Carol was in teaching, but they met while working for Angus Council’s Communities Team, and it was there that they came up with this mission to ensure all who want it have the digital skills they need to make the most of life.

Carol explained: “We’re both quite community-minded and passionate about our communities. We thought there was more that we could do.”

Pauline added: “It’s all about making our communities a self-sufficient community where everybody has the skills available to them to train in whatever background they need. See a need, meet that need, it’s not about us saying what our communities need, it’s about listening and seeing how we can support them.”

The pair registered the company last year and have been concentrating on networking and building up dedicated time to spend on the project.

Most recently, Pauline and Carol have been involved in helping the Kirriemuir Contact The Elderly group set up an online presence and have a number of projects in the pipeline.

Carol said: “We’ve been working with the women from the Glenisla Project and we’ve delivered a number of sessions on a more individual basis and we’ve supported them with their digital skills. They told us what they wanted support with and we provided that.

“We are also looking to deliver a project for Angus Carers, again with more individual and evening sessions.

“We have contacted a number of groups offering support and 100 per cent of the people we contacted said yes, so that was an overwhelming response initially.”

Pauline hopes that her work can also benefit her hometown.

She said: “I suppose I’m very involved in a lot of things and quite passionate about Carnoustie.

“One thing for me was to make Carnoustie quite a self-sufficient town and get all these different groups talking to each other and sharing information.”

It is hoped ultimately to create a training hub to deliver digital skills to the Angus area at large and empower citizens.