16 January 2015
A group of Waterloo tenants at de Montfort House, an inner city tower block of over 230 flats in Leicester, have had their achievements recognised by being shortlisted for a TPAS award in the category of excellence in digital engagement.
Twelve months ago, a group of five residents - Ibrahim Queita, Osama Kayyali, Modou Camara, Matt Hazle and Kevin Tinklin - worked with Waterloo's community development officer to bring their virtual idea to life. The working party secured grant support from Waterloo to pay for and fit computers. They also used our IT team for help and advice.
The tenant working party decided together to apply for a TPAS award and are thrilled to hear they have been shortlisted. Their co-ordinator, Osama Kayyali, told us:
“I am so happy and proud that we’ve been shortlisted. We had a feeling that the Digi-Lounge would be successful because we knew there was a need for it here. Before we started the project we talked to the tenants and found many did not have the internet at home because they cannot afford it.”
The project has succeeded in meeting its aims of providing access to a computer to enable tenants to apply for jobs, complete CVs, pay their rent online and keep in touch with friends and family in other countries. It has also had the added benefit of creating a sense of community which can be hard to achieve in a tower block.
The group’s project manager, Ibrahim Queita, is pleased at the success of the Digi-Lounge.
“It’s in constant use, with three or four people in there at most times of the day,” he said. “The original communal lounge here was hardly used but now it’s a friendly place that provides a new sense of community. When we started the project we couldn’t have imagined the impact it would have.”
The Digi-Lounge is open to de Montfort House residents from 6am until midnight and can be used for an hour and a half at time, so as many residents as possible can use it.
The whole project group will be attending the awards ceremony on 6 March and we wish them the best of luck! Visit the TPAS website for more information about the awards.
If you would like to discuss the possibility of setting up a Digi-Lounge for your local community of Waterloo residents, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org