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Let’s get digital in November

November is officially about all things digital in Waltham Forest – and over the next four weeks residents of all ages will be scrolling, clicking and tapping at events and activities celebrating #WFdigital month.



The month-long event is not just about promoting digital-focussed initiatives, but also about encouraging more members of the community to get to grips with digital channels, particularly older residents.



Throughout November, there will be sessions run by Age UK in association with the Council which offer people aged 60 and over opportunities to learn how to use Skype and take part in introductory workshops about how to use mobile phones and other digital devices.



#WFdigital month will also feature a series of competitions through which residents can win iPads, by taking on Twitter challenges or simply by going online at home or at one of the borough’s libraries and signing up to MyAccount on the Council’s website – through which you can access a range of services such as reporting a fly-tip or paying for a parking permit.



And there will be plenty going on for younger people too, including a Coding Club Pattern Craft Workshop on 24 November organised in collaboration with Waltham Forest Libraries. Gemma May Latham has developed code which allows users to design on the hugely popular sandbox video game Minecraft – and residents are being given the chance to learn this skill themselves.



Cllr Sharon Waldron, Cabinet Member for Digital and Customer Services, said: “The next four weeks promise to be really exciting for residents – whether they’re digitally-savvy or wanting to better understand how to use a computer.



“We’ve got competitions, art displays, and a variety of different educational and support workshops, all of which have a digital focus. I hope to see residents young and old taking part and getting behind #WFdigital.”



One of the first ways in which local people can take part in #WFdigital month will be at the Council’s annual Bonfire Night celebrations. Taking place in Chestnuts Field, Walthamstow, between 6.30pm and 9pm on Friday 4 November, the event will feature a ‘hashtag printer’ which will give all visitors a Kodak style instant photograph once they use the hashtag WFGODIGITAL and follow the Council on Twitter or Instagram.



Other initiatives include weekly drop-in sessions at libraries to help people wanting to sign up to MyAccount online, a Q&A session with Cllr Waldron on Facebook and free screenings of Parts and Labour at the Empire Cinema, which explores the concept of animation as craft. 



The Council is training frontline staff to be ‘Digital Champions’ so they can help members of the public access online support. Digital Champions are on hand to assist anyone with activities such as setting up emails, using the council’s website, paying bills, applying for services online or signposting residents to relevant training.



Also during #WFdigital month, a screen in the main William Morris Gallery space will be showing protest graphics from social media, which links in with its current exhibition A World to Win: Posters of Protest and Revolution.



And from 15 November, the nearby Winns Gallery will host the prestigious Lumen Art Prize 2016 exhibition, which celebrates the very best digitally-created art.



A Digital Hang Out event is planned for 16 November, at which local volunteering groups and organisations will come to network and record their volunteering stories so that digital developers can start to create a digital story map of the borough.



To see the full programme of events taking place during #WFdigital month, visit www.walthamforest.gov.uk/digitalmonth.

If you would like more information about any of these press releases or have a different media enquiry please contact us at media@walthamforest.gov.uk or on 020 8496 3000.