A computer skills company has travelled by land and sea to ensure the most remote community in the UK keeps up to speed with the rest of the world.
To tie in with “Get Online Week” (October 13-19) Silver Training sent one of its tutors to Inverie on the north-west coast of Scotland to teach residents how to stay connected via the internet.
It is believed that the event in the village hall, on a peninsular surrounded by mountains on one side and a vast expanse of water on the other, is the most remote digital skills lesson ever given in the UK.
Silver Training has a team of digital tutors who aim to educate anyone, anywhere in the UK about computers, tablets and the internet and its out-of-the-way lesson was designed to prove that no one is beyond reach.
Although the tiny settlement, with a population of 110, is not connected to the National Grid, has zero mobile phone signal and everything from the post to toilet rolls comes in by boat, it does have access to broadband.
Matthew Adam, Silver Training’s Managing Director, said: “The community in Inverie may be one of the hardest to reach in the UK but it does have broadband internet and that means it’s easy to stay connected, if you’re shown how.
“Our aim is to provide a personal computer tuition service for those who want to keep up with the digital generation – wherever they are based.
“People simply can’t be left behind nowadays.
This year’s Get Online Week campaign is aiming to encourage the nation to improve its IT skills by staging thousands of events across the country.
For the digital lesson in Inverie, Hilary Cameron, Silver Training’s tutor for the Glasgow area travelled for five hours on a train from Helensburgh to Mallaig before boarding the 30-minute Knoydart ferry across Loch Nevis to get to Inverie.
On arrival at the picturesque location Ms Cameron helped members of the close-knit community with skills on systems ranging from Windows 8.1 to the Apple iPad.
“When I arrived the students were waiting for me with their iPads and laptops – it felt very incongruous to see such modern technology in such a timeless place, but the internet is a vital link to the mainland,” said the 52-year-old from Helensburgh.
“Thanks to the HebNet Community Broadband initiative which supplies unlimited access for £15 a month everybody here has access to the internet.”
During the tutorial Miss Cameron assisted the locals with questions on anything from privacy settings on social media and downloading applications to saving email contacts into an address book and how to use a scanner.