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Women Connect Newsletter January 2004

publication date: 12 January 2004

Policy,recent funding,latest ICT updates and more - it's all here in our latest newsletter.

Welcome to the January edition of our quarterly network newsletterIt is a mix of news and issues related to women’s organisations and their use of ICT’s (Information, communication technology).  If you have any suggestions for future issues please let us know. 

Regional Workshop-Coventry
‘Opened up new horizons of what is possible…’ that’s a taste of the feedback from the December workshop at Foleshill Women’s Training Centre in Coventry.  Over 20 women were jam packed into the training rooms for a dynamic day of tips and activities around technology and how we can use it to support our work and our organisations.  For a more about the event visit our website at http://www.womenconnect.org.uk/C2B/events/Event.asp?ID=25&CatID=2

Do you have a website or want to create a website?  Why not build your own?  There are advantages to contracting agencies or freelancers to maintain your website however some organisations prefer to build their own.  This way you can increase your skills and regularly update your site when you want.  Here’s one way of doing it-FREE.  The Community Website Builder offers registered UK charities, non-profit making organisations and volunteer-led groups to build and maintain their own website free of charge; visit BT community website builder http://www.communitykit.co.uk/

For key points to consider in developing any website particularly on a low budget  visit Communities Online website http://www.lincproject.org/toolkit/techtip_webguide.html

Although Bill Gates has cornered the market in software, ICT professionals in the voluntary sector say there is life beyond Microsoft.  For information and advice on FREE alternatives visit http://www.lasa.org.uk/knowledgebase/pages/utilities.shtml  Also check out Greennet resources and fee software downloads on http://www.gn.apc.org/support/index.html

Buying a digital camera for your project? Click on here for the BBC Webwise website for some easy to digest tips.  You can also ask Bruce (a virtual webwise spider) a question of your own-Bruce will provide you with answers to the most frequently asked questions on the subject http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/askbruce/articles/scancam/buycam_1.shtml

Government funding for voluntary sector ICT : Consultation is under way on one funding stream with cash from another available soon to resource the voluntary sector.  For more information visit http://www.lasa.org.uk/cgi-bin/publisher/display.cgi?1432-10103-75556+computanews

Would you like an internet-ready PC and a year's free internet connection for your project?  BT Community Connections Award Scheme aims to open up the world wide web to community groups across the UK, for details visit http://www.bitc.org.uk/resources/case_studies/bt_680.html

Independent organisation Privacy International http://www.privacyinternational.org/ question the legality of government plans to monitor UK citizens phone and internet use.  For more on this issue visit PI home page or the APC website reporting on implications for internet service providers and civil society http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=15417

The Equalities Coalition is a newly formed network of organisations and individuals with an interest in equalities and non-discrimination issues in the UK.  For more information contact the Fawcette Society http://www.equalities.org/

For a range of perspectives on the latest WSIS (World Summit on Information Society) process and updates on the December meeting in Geneva visit the following sites;
WSIS newsroom gives daily highlights http://www.itu.int/wsis/geneva/newsroom/index.html
Mosaic (produced by GlobalCN and the World Forum on Community Networking) gives civil society perspectives http://www.globalcn.org/en/article.ntd?id=1825&sort=1
APC proved updates from women activists http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=9974

Haringay Women’s Forum
(London) is committed to working co-operatively with women and women’s organisations to promote real opportunities for all women, in particular women who face discrimination and disadvantage.  HWF also works collaboratively with other agencies to promote the infrastructure of the voluntary sector as well as offering support, information and advice to individuals.  Kate Osamor administration worker at the forum has already set an ICT new year’s list which includes carrying out an ICT audit and mainstreaming ICT into organisational and strategic planning. 

Nottingham Women’s Counselling Project (Nottingham) offer person centred counselling sessions to women in Nottingham, in particular women who experience social exclusion and disadvantages as a result of trauma, abuse and mental health issues.  Currently NWCP are reviewing their information and administration infrastructure to support their expansion-they have identified that ICT and networking are crucial to supporting their organisational development.  Anne Rockliffe who originally worked with the project on secondment from the public sector through an ‘Interchange opportunity’ scheme, is keen to turn ideas into action and ICT’s are one resource that can help progress. 

Turkish Kurdish Welfare Group (London) works for the benefit of Turkish speaking women in Islington, providing advice, information and educational opportunities on health and social welfare.  Gul Kocak says that the project’s key aim this year is to get online and provide on site IT training courses for local women, women can then have direct access to information services and educational courses.

The Women’s Centre (Sutton) LTD provides emotional and practical support to women on issues that affect their health and well being.  The Women’s Centre also offers learning opportunities, creative activities and volunteer development to build women’s confidence and self esteem.  Ailsa McLoughlin support worker/co-ordinator is looking to develop an ICT strategy for the organisation which includes creating a website to raise awareness of project services to local women and agencies.  The centre already rely heavily on technology to run an internet caf?, regular IT classes for women, administration and fundraising work. 

As from January 2004 Women Connect will be working intensively in the West Midlands for the next year.  One of the outcomes of our external evaluation highlighted the need to focus resources in one region in order to identify good practice and lessons learned for women’s organisations using ICT’s.  We will be working with women’s organisations in the region to support learning and networking opportunities both virtual and real.  If you are based in the West Midlands and are interested in being involved, please get in touch.

Disclaimer: we check all information in the newsletter, but as ever with these things we give no warranties and encourage active checking before you make any decisions.  Women Connect is funded by the Community Fund and managed by the Community Development Foundation and CILIP.  Copyright Women Connect, all rights reserved.  Women Connect 60 Highbury Grove, London, telephone 020 7226 5375, email info@womenconnect.org.uk, website www.womenconnect.org.uk

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