Computer experts from the University of East London (UEL) have come to the aid of local voluntary and community organisations by hosting a series of workshops on subjects such as cybersecurity, the General Data Protection Regulation and social media.
Organised by UEL’s Office for Civic Engagement, the aim is to tap into the university’s considerable computing expertise in order to upskill community partners around some of the key challenges facing the voluntary sector.
Joseph Crook, Volunteering Manager at UEL, said, "We really value the relationships that we have with our community partners. We also understand that UEL is in a unique position to support charities and other community organisations, drawing on the knowledge and expertise of our staff members.
"This is part of a wider effort to make UEL more of an "open source" university, and to make our resources available to our neighbouring communities in a mutually beneficial relationship.
UEL hosted four workshops between February and June, with 55 people from 36 different organisations attending. Attendees paid a nominal fee of £10.
Dominic Cookson, Volunteering Coordinator at Mildmay Mission Hospital, said, “It was a really good course with a really good blend of discussion and presentation from the expert. I wish I had invited more people from my charity along. ”
Another attendee, Fiorentini Foundation trustee Attila Kent, said, “It was clear and concise and took the fear out of the subject. The speaker was human and approachable, putting the subject in an easy way to understand.”
As a result of the cyber security workshop, a group of UEL cyber security graduate students have volunteered to provide further consultation to the Royal Docks Learning and Activity Centre.
UEL hopes to organise more workshops in the future. For more information or to suggest workshop ideas, please contact Joseph Crook at firstname.lastname@example.org