TechResort is officially 10 years old today! It’s a good time to reflect on everything we’ve achieved with our team, partners and friends.
Setting out a decade ago, we knew the challenges. In 2013 the world was getting online and there was no turning back. We wanted to help people left behind, share digital skills to create new jobs and diversify our local economy.
We were also bothered about equality. In many places across the world as digital economies have grown, a few benefitted and many didn’t. That wasn’t for us. We pledged to do our bit to level the playing field. Since then our activities have been either low cost or free, so anyone can join. Our HQ is in one of the most deprived wards in the country, and we’re here to stay.
What we’ve learned
So what have we learned in a decade? Too much to go into here, but there’s maybe three general points to share.
First, the young people we meet and work with are amazing. That’s everyone from tech nerds who’re looking for a community (like I was) through to those who haven’t heard of our industry and are curious to know more. Every day you restore our faith in this work, and make TechResort what it is – a diverse, kind group of people who roll their sleeves up and help.
Second, what we do may sound complicated and techy but this is actually about people and their needs. Our work is tailored to the needs of folks we meet, and we’ve become flexible enough to turn on a sixpence and deliver for them. That’s schemes such as our 3D printer farm to create PPE during the Covid 19 pandemic through to our recent work to help with the cost of living crisis.
At our drop-in sessions, people can ask about anything. We’re ready and willing to help in small ways with their immediate needs, and it makes a massive difference.
Finally, the digital skills problem is hard and needs everyone pulling in the same direction. That’s not-for-profits like ours, schools, colleges, councils and national government. It can’t be left in the “too hard” pile.
It’s a team effort
Our best work over the last 10 years has been with great partners, like 100% Digital Leeds, the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network, Citizens Advice 1066, Eastbourne Food Partnership, Discovery College, Say Aphasia, East Sussex County Council, and Eastbourne and Lewes Councils.
We also would like to thank great funders including the Department for Levelling Up, Blagrave Trust, Sussex Community Foundation, Localgiving and the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner.
This work can be tiring but it’s immensely rewarding. Thanks to our team, in particular our COO Liz who puts up with my randomness, and our amazing group of dedicated directors and associates. Our team are the backbone of TechResort and we couldn’t do this without you. Thank you Chris, Coza, Fiona, James, Jim, Josie, Lia, Luke, Monty, SamB, SamW, Sean, Tamsyn and Tyler.
The TechResort list of alumni is huge and includes Aidan, Adam McD, Adam C, “Arduino” Andy, “Big” James, Callum, Charlie, Cheryl, David, Dylan, Ethan, Laura, Mike, Paul, Paul B, Paul C, Petra, Serena, Stuart, Sienna, Theo and Zach. Please message me if I’ve missed you.
As for the next 10 years, we have plans – we’re increasingly working across the UK and have met many organisations grappling with the same challenges we face. There’s plenty more to do, and we’ll keep at it.
Over the next 3 years we’re aiming to deliver the following:
- partnerships with like minded organisations to support as many digitally excluded people across East Sussex as possible
- lots more coding, making and creative sessions across our county, and help for other organisations offering this across the UK
- encouragement and training for young people and adults across the county to get high skill digital jobs
- with the support of grant funders such as Blagrave Trust, ensure local young people are given the opportunity to lead TechResort’s work and impact on local policy conversations
There’s lots to do and we can’t do this alone. If you have digital skills and would like to volunteer we’d love to hear from you. Likewise if you’re a digital business, a school or college, or a front line organisation working with vulnerable people – please get in touch.
Thanks for reading this far. Did you know that TechResort receives no core funding from local or central government? We’re writing funding bids all the time to keep our help free to people who need it. Donations are very welcome!
Birthday messages from our team
There’s a pastoral side to TechResort’s community work – listening, showing empathy and giving the space each time we help someone to allow a relationship to develop. The immediate task may be transactional, but our presence brings more than that. This builds trust, which for people that are marginalised do not often feel in their daily lives. And this breaks through loneliness and isolation.
We’re also active members of civil society partnering with organisations such as Eastbourne Foodbank, Age UK and The Sanctuary helping bear what is a heavy burden right now supporting those in poverty and are marginalised.
We started out not really knowing how to do the things we knew were needed. Over the years a lot of people have helped us shape the work we do now and none of it would have been possible without such amazing teamwork. Our young people have been the biggest revelation – they’ve taken on roles we wouldn’t have dreamed of and made TechResort what it is now.
Liz, Director and Elf in Chief
I’ve had the experience of moving from beneficiary of TechResort’s brilliant support to being a part of the team. I’m proud of what’s been achieved and especially the way in which those achievements have been delivered; with a focus on community, inclusivity, practicality and a drive to make a real difference in the lives of people who need it the most. Congratulations everyone on 10 years!
While I’m incredibly new to TechResort, I wanted to say how proud I am to be involved with such a great team of people doing such amazing work. I’ve watched from the sidelines over the last 10 years as TechResort has grown and made a real difference to people’s lives. I can’t wait to see what we achieve in the next 10 years.
The difference that TechResort has made to my life has been huge. In a brutal job market it’s been the only company to give me a chance and the experience and support have been invaluable. I’ve a lot to thank them for, and the community does too – rather than monopolising off of people who don’t understand tech, TechResort have chosen over and over to be kind and help because it needs to be done rather than for profits. Not a lot of companies can say that.
Happy Birthday TechResort! I consider myself very lucky to work with such a great, caring team who take pride in helping others. TechResort took a chance on me 7 years ago as a pretty shy school student. I’ve grown up and graduated university while working alongside our fantastic people and on such a variety of projects. From starting out helping one day a week at our Teens sessions through to 3D printing PPE during the pandemic, and now leading some of our digital inclusion work and writing funding bids to help shape our next chapter – the journey has been incredible.
Having been here for a little over a year it’s amazing being able to see it grow and expand. I can’t wait to see what the future brings for the company.
Having been involved from close to the beginning, I’m now extremely impressed with how the younger TechResort members are stepping up to the plate and helping the organisation become stronger. The future’s bright in their hands!
Sam, Elven Engineer