Electronic Village Halls (EVH's)
e-Neighbourhoods Electronic Village Halls - better known as "EVH's" in Sunderland, are a critical component in the issue of accessibility to the Council's Services and promoting Social Inclusion. They are Neighbourhood based facilities offering facilitated access to technology. They are free at the point of access, operate on flexible hours and offer a range of services and support for local people to use ICT to meet their individual needs.
A key feature of the EVH's is that they offer a supportive, informal environment with help on hand to use the technology and to explore how it might help individuals achieve their aims. Primarily the user experience of an EVH is intended to be a 'social' experience, with technology as the enabler and not as the raison d'etre, where decisions on provision are user led. They are also a primary source of consultation and evaluation about the City Council website and the development of the Councils e-Services.
The EVH story in Sunderland started in 1997 with Pennywell EVH and continued with the development of free internet access in Council Libraries across the city. Since then the ICT provided by the City Council EVH's has expanded and has been supplemented by a growing number of Community based venues and Community run EVH's.
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