A COMMUNITY hub offering crucial support with digital skills has reopened its doors.

Run by Spire View Housing Association, Roystonhill Community Hub has been working in partnership with Power-Up to improve digital engagement across the local community since 2019.

It is host to a number of “digital participants”, all with different skill levels who are benefitting from taking part.

Throughout lockdown, support was provided remotely – but classes have since opened back up.

Digital engagement officer Fiona Mclean said: “The project is fantastic, and I’m very glad to be involved in something so important.

“Even excluding the coronavirus pandemic, being online is now more important than ever.

“We recognise that and we’ll continue to provide as much support for our community as we can.”

The project was set up for a number of reasons – one being that 90% of those who do not use the internet are more likely to face challenges including unemployment, low income and low skills.

Janet Anderson, 56, who has lived in Royston her whole life, has struggled with digital devices for a long time.

She signed up to take part in Roystonhill Community Hub’s Digital Skills Level 3 course and is finally getting used to using her devices.

She said: “The first time I tried to buy a coat online I ended up with three of the same so I just gave the other two away because I didn’t know how to send them back.”

Meanwhile, Pauline Frati, a 49-year-old local Royston resident, experienced unemployment in 2018, after having worked in the catering and hospitality industry for more than 20 years.

Glasgow Times: Fiona, Pauline and BrianFiona, Pauline and Brian

When preparing to open her own business, Pauline knew her lack of digital skills could get in the way of running it successfully.

Pauline began attending the classes in December 2019 and started learning how to use different programmes such as email, Google suite, Google drive and Google docs.

As Pauline’s skills continued to develop, so too did her business.

Her cafe opened in February last year, and despite the coronavirus pandemic, she has worked hard to grow her business and continues to boost her social media and online presence.

Pauline said: “There is no way I could have done all of the digital things that I needed to do to establish my business without this project.

“I made my own flyers and menus, and I’m now very active on social media. I deal with emails confidently and can prepare and send invoices too.”