The Southwark Group of Tenants Organisation (SGTO) is a City and Guilds approved centre. Over the past years we have expanded our training repertoire to incorporate accredited training programs and relevant capacity building courses that would benefit council tenants and residents in the borough. We have teamed up with the local Jobcentre Plus and other agencies in the borough to support residents back into work and extend the benefits of our courses to tenants and residents on the estates.
We are aware that over 120 languages are spoken in Southwark, and 11% of households have no members who speak English as a first language. We therefore need to review our training and services to explore working with a training and other partner as well as the local authority to provide English language classes and a translation service. Other barriers to taking up opportunities are deafness and being partially sighted so we need to review what opportunities there are for us to meet the needs of these specific groups. We will research existing provisions in the borough to sign post residents if that is appropriate.
Due to Covid 19, the IT Suite is closed, but we can still provide courses and can help over the telephone or by email for those that need help. The courses that we usually deliver in our center are now available remotely so people can do during lockdown. In April 2020, we emailed our members online courses we have available for them to be able to complete at home.
Food & Hygiene course meant they were covered to prepare food for others outside of their household. Full instructions were sent on how to access the courses and regular checks made to ensure they were able to access, and assistance offered as and when required. Total of 54 residents have been registered on various courses during this period (20 North, 34 South).
Where applicable, arrangements have been made for those to collect their certificates for display. These courses have included money management and first aid and more. Residents have the skills & confidence to increase their use of online services and reduce digital exclusion.