UK online centre wins two national awards


Starting Point Community Learning Partnership, a UK online centre based in Woodley, Stockport, has picked up two national awards.

Ryan McMurdo, Starting Point’s Head of Drop in IT sessions, won the Youth Award at the Technology4Good awards, held at the BT Centre in London on Thursday 10 July. Ryan, who joined Starting Point in the coffee shop at just 18 has grown the organisation’s IT offering from just one class a week to 18, and has personally supported over 1,000 people to get online and engage with technology.

Following on from Ryan’s success, the partnership between Starting Point and Stockport Homes also picked up the Excellent in Digital Engagement award at the TPAS Awards for their ‘Older and Bolder Online’ initiative. The partnership has supported sheltered housing residents to gain digital skills through innovative sessions such as ‘Fish, Peas and Family Trees’ and ‘Casserole Click’.

Starting Point is a social enterprise that offers informal learning opportunities to local residents from a coffee shop in the town’s precinct. The coffee shop was set up by Anne Wallace OBE in 2009 in order to stimulate the town’s struggling economy, and has since gone on to pick up a number of prestigious awards for their work, which has had a huge impact on supporting people to engage with technology, in turn supporting a number of social issues faced by the town and its residents..

Ryan McMurdo says: “I was delighted to win the Youth Award at the Technology4Good awards – and also to see the work we do with Stockport Homes recognised on the same day.  It’s been an incredibly rewarding journey growing the IT offering at Starting Point, and has been fantastic to support so many people to improve their digital skills, and to see the real impact that technology can have on improving people’s lives. I want to keep growing what we do – both in the coffee shop in Woodley, and out in the community with partners like Stockport Homes, so we can support many more people.” 


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