Technology enables progress in many walks of life, for those who can afford to access it. MAIN had a vision that would use technology to harness our service users’ abilities and develop them. However limited resources meant we couldn’t bring that vision to life. That was, until local IT firm LaneSystems offered their support. Little did we know just how much impact that backing would make. As we embark on our next adventure into new premises, with the continued support of LaneSystems, discover how their act of kindness has changed the lives of the people we help.
Minecraft is an incredibly popular computer game among young people, and some of our service users are big fans. MAIN saw an opportunity to use this trend to bring together some young people for whom social interaction is really hard. You see, while striking up a conversation with a classmate might feel impossible to a young person with autism, playing alongside someone might not. Then, after some time, perhaps even several games, they might talk about the game. More interesting still, was that after two players had finished their game, some would then choose to continue to play, or to chat, elsewhere. We even had instances where two lads went on to kick a football around outside together. This, from two young people unable to access mainstream education because they struggle with social situations.
The technology needed for several people to play Minecraft at the same time isn’t cheap. When LaneSystems offered some pre-loved monitors, it was a huge help. However, their biggest legacy went far beyond saving MAIN’s vital resources. The team set up a private server, just for our gamers, so that they could continue to play at home, with no threat of external ‘intruders’. Our young people were able to strengthen their bonds (and their gaming skills!) beyond our clubs, in the safety that we offer here at MAIN.
Michel Lane, owner of LaneSystems explains why he got involved:
“This is our local community, and we want that human connection with the people in it. You never know when someone you know might need services like those which MAIN offer. Every penny counts to a charity, so if we can help cover costs on technology, they can spend that money on the fantastic services they offer.”
The support from LaneSystems continues as they help us with our move to our new premises, the Finlay Cooper Centre. The picture on the right shows Michel (left) and Lee from LaneSystems joining us to install our new IT equipment. MAIN are very grateful to receive four switches – a device that helps all our staff computers to connect together. This, alongside the time they have donated to set our IT up, means we can work more efficiently here at MAIN, leaving more time for the people we’re here to help.
Helen Jaques, MAIN’s charity manager comments:
“Michel and the team have shown unfailing support for MAIN for so many years. We are truly grateful for their generosity, but also their expertise, which has enabled us to make an even bigger impact on the lives of the people we support.”