The Hugo project, a scheme
aimed at getting people living in social housing computer savvy, made a stop in Morley last week to visits residents of Ingle Court.
Run by the Leeds Federated Housing Association, the project aims to teach residents how to use computers and the internet.
It was launched in November in south Leeds following nationwide statistics that 50 percent of the 8.4 million who don’t use computers live in social housing.
The pilot programme aims to get 10,000 people online.
To spread the message they created the Hugo family, a fictional family moving to Leeds, helping residents get familiar with blogging and social media by following them online.
Sue Jennings, community development manager of Leeds Federated Housing, said: “Although we are based in Burley, we want to help bring free wi-fi to communities across South Leeds.
“Our Hugo bus, essentially an internet cafe on wheels, helps us visit these communities.
“The project is clearly growing, as next month we’ll be getting a second bus and we’ll be stopping by all South Leeds communities on a fortnightly basis to make sure residents get all the help they need”.
As well as the two buses, Hugo also has a minibus and a coach to help reach communities.
The Mini Hugo bus, which was donated by Leeds City Council housing services, was set up in collaboration with the First Bus group to make it easier for communities to access free wi-fi and the volunteers, or “digital Champions”, who will help them adapt to the digital age.
The project has been funded by a £40,000 grant from the government’s Digital Deal, which was match funded by Leeds Federated.
The Digital Deal is aimed at encouraging more social housing tenants to get online, improve their skills and benefit from wider internet services.
Leeds Federated is one of 12 housing associations across the country to have secured funding from the deal.
However, Sue Jackson claims the project isn’t just aiming to benefit people living in sheltered housing.
“We don’t just have Leeds federated tenants on our minds, we need to work with anyone who needs help getting online,” she said.
For more information on the Hugo project, visit the Leeds Federated Housing Association’s website at www.lfha.co.uk.