Technology that can help to bring a community together will be showcased in an event at Sleights.
Over the past 12 months, North Yorkshire County Council’s Stronger Communities team, together with other services, has been supporting a steering group of residents and local organisations in a partnership to introduce technological and community-based ideas to keep people better informed and bring them together for events and activities.
County Councillor David Chance, Executive Member for Stronger Communities, said: “We have been working with the community for more than a year to support them in creating digital and community activities that help to reduce loneliness and social isolation and help people to build social connections.
“Sleights was chosen as a location for this trial as it already has good assets on which to build. The event on 8 June will showcase what has been achieved by the community over the past year.”
The steering group’s achievements include support for a digital hub at Briggswath Methodist Church with at least four volunteer digital buddies. Information screens have been installed at the doctors’ surgery and the community centre offering a rolling display of health and wellbeing messages and community activities.
A Sleights Youth Shed has been created and links established with the local football team and Sleights Medical Practice. A “celebrating Sleights” event to promote what is happening in Sleights and to encourage volunteering attracted more than 100 people.
There have been Memory Lane lunches and Good Old Days sessions, as reminiscing is a great way to encourage conversation, particularly for people with memory problems and those who are more isolated and find chatting to other people difficult. There have also been intergenerational sessions with Beyond Housing residents and Sleights primary school pupils.
The showcase event, called Back to the Future, will feature a variety of activities, including:
- an opportunity to try a virtual reality headset and digital arts in a Digital Makey session with the County Council’s libraries service;
- a geocaching trail around the village with a prize draw supported by North Yorkshire Youth;
- Sleights Medical Practice will help people to sign up for online patient access and will carry out blood pressure checks;
- digital advice and a chance to see some of the latest gadgets for around the home;
- a woodwork challenge with the Sleights area Men’s Shed;
- taster sessions to try being a DJ and presenter with Radio Scarborough; and
- Old-time music and movie with Revival North Yorkshire.
There will also be stalls offering advice, information and things to do for all ages in and around Sleights, volunteering opportunities with Community First Yorkshire, promotion of the North Yorkshire Connect online directory for local organisations and road safety information.
Stronger Communities will revisit its Talking Sleights survey, which was initially carried out last year, to see if residents have seen improvements. This will help the team learn what works and what could be introduced elsewhere.
Back to the Future will take place on Saturday, 8 June, from 11am to 3pm at Sleights Village Hall and Beyond Housing Community Centre.
Picture: A poster produced by Sleights C of E Primary School to publicise the event