Cloud computing technology – the ability to park vast amounts of data on someone else's server and retrieve it easily – is the new white knight at Work4ME, the Scottish-based co-operative championing self-employment for people living with long-term conditions.
The co-operative has just landed a £9,000 grant from The Big Lottery Fund's ‘Awards for All' scheme which will enable it to provide an online office for members so they can support one another while they work from home, freelance or work on their own self-employed businesses.
“People with long-term conditions who want to work need a community hub through which to operate. Work4ME has developed that”, explained Shona Sinclair, director of SKS Scotland, a social enterprise business based in Killearn, Glasgow, which is behind Work4ME.
“We call it ‘The Base' and now we are able to roll it out to others who might benefit from using the technology as part of their independent working lives.”
The Base will give people chances to share information, store documents, catch up with the news, search for work opportunities and spread support around.
SKS already had a long-term link with academia – Stirling Management School – who have identified social isolation and lack of IT skills as two huge barriers to self-employment for people with long-term conditions. Shona promises that The Base will be made easy to access and use, so it does not drain users of energy even before they start using it.
Half day training workshops will be held in Glasgow and Edinburgh in November to show people interested in self-employment how The Base will work. For details about these events, please phone Isobel Alford on 0777 4505 773.
Work4ME teamed up with Timewise Jobs earlier this year to advertise a range of freelance and self-employment opportunities round the UK. Read our story HERE.