Real World First

Breaking News - Community IT Drop-in needs your help to find new home.

A real-world social network.

First things first.

If you have arrived here from Twitter, you will be pleased to know that our Community IT Drop-in is also a social network, we have hundreds of followers and users — and we exist entirely in the Real World. It’s a place where real people meet and talk face-to-face. It’s run mainly by older local people — not as a service, but as our way of promoting social inclusion and community cohesion.

The place can change, but not our values.

We have had an excellent venue for the last three years — but we can’t do much without Internet. It feels like time for a change, and that is why we need you. Somewhere, probably not far away, there is an underused or disused space that would be perfect for this long-term, thriving community asset. We don’t know where it is, but you do.

What would it look like?
  • Reasonably close to an adequate bus route (many of our regulars can’t walk long distances).
  • Ideally — close to the Stamford Hill – Stoke Newington High St – Kingsland Rd – Shoreditch High St axis through Hackney. But other areas might be even more ideal, and it certainly does not have to be in Hackney.
  • Ideally — a hackable space, waiting for some community enthusiasm and commitment, not overseen by a local authority.
What could we bring?
  • Instant community engagement, especially with people who have decades of experience of community dynamics.
  • If you like the idea of digital inclusion, some of us have decades of that experience too.
  • Resources for an oven-ready community computing project — human (users, supporters, volunteers) and digital (hardware, software) — perhaps an Internet connection too.
  • Grassroots energy — universally acknowledged as the most effective antidote to a funding gap.
When could this happen?
  • Pre-COVID-19, we could have suggested ‘tomorrow’. Everything is different now. It might be some time before we can revert to the Drop-in as we have always known it — the opposite of Social Distancing.
  • A return to the full-scale drop-in may be weeks or even months in the future. Many of us are carers of vulnerable people, or are vulnerable ourselves.
  • Meanwhile, we could create small-scale low-risk activities (eg- for up to 8 people), and maybe act as a hub for online contact until this is all over (we do have some useful experience of GSuite Meet for that purpose).
How to contact us.
  • Email (best) —
  • Phone — 07761 887927
  • Twitter — @HelloHackney

Have you got a phone, tablet, or any other digital gadget that you don’t quite understand?
We can fix it at our weekly drop-in.

Discover new ways to use your phone or tablet.
Our drop-in workshops will help you become more creative and more independent

Do you need help understanding the Internet?
What's good? What's safe? What isn't?
Learn how to use it safely and sensibly with us

Learn and share with other people like you.
Our long experience shows that
it's the best way to learn.

Learning about new technology should be a community activity - not isolated learning at home. We help each other at the digital drop-in.

The Digital Drop-in is a co-designed grassroots project - developing a successful digital and social inclusion model for more than 12 years

We have an outstanding volunteer team of older people with more than 100 years of Internet experience between them - supplemented by teams of enthusiastic younger professionals.

You might be excited by the Internet, you might be confused or irritated - but if you have already had a life without digital technology, our community drop-in project will help you get used to it.