We’re working with some of the best organisations across the VCSE sector in Northern Ireland through Techies in Residence. We asked each of them their views on why they got involved in the project, and what they want to get out of it.

Tell us a little about your organisation:

The Belfast Unemployed Resource Centre (BURC) was set up in September 1984 and the premises were open in 1985. The Northern Ireland Trade Union Education & Social Centre (NITU) is a charitable organisation operating as Belfast Unemployed Resource Centre (BURC) whose aims and objectives are to provide support, education/training and facilities to the unemployed and other groups suffering from social and economic disadvantage. NITU/BURC aims to be recognised as an innovative provider in effecting change towards a fair and inclusive society. BURC has always been an advocate for the Social Economy through the expansion of Social Enterprises. In 1999 BURC setup the John Hewitt Bar & Restaurant in one of our adjacent premises.

What do you hope to achieve from the Techies in Residence Programme?

The organisation hopes to realise it’s vision of developing an Orientation resource for newly arrived migrants in Belfast where they can find information quickly and easily, to help them navigate a new environment. From the Techies in Residence programme we hope to bridge the knowledge and experience gap in Burc to develop a relevant modern, accessible resource.

What challenge is your organisation trying to address?

When people first arrive here they are met with many challenges , language, cultural differences, knowledge, new weather systems, different governmental , education, health services etc. This can be daunting to even begin to attempt to navigate. With the development of the orientation resource we hope to provide migrants with the tools and knowledge and connections to break down initial barriers and provide continuing support.

What’s the largest impact that Techies in Residence will have on your organisation?

The Resource will help tie all of our current supports to migrants into a usable, accessible format. It will support the development of new links, partnerships and connections to help provide an even better more rounded and responsive resource to migrants. It will showcase BURC’s commitment to continually support migrant groups. Funders, potential funders and partner organisations will be encouraged by the professionalism of the resource and be able to contribute to it on an a ongoing basis.

The Techies in Residence programme is an initiative of Social Innovation NI, managed by the Building Change Trust, which in turn has been funded by Big Lottery Fund and also Comic Relief. Innovate NI have been appointed by the Trust as Managing Agent for the ongoing development and delivery of Techies in Residence.