Digital Skills for Women, 2015 editionTuesday, March 17th, 2015

Following on from last year’s hugely successful Digital Skills for Women training in libraries across Manchester, we’re back once again – bigger and better than ever!

This time around we’re running twenty free 2-day workshops, covering four topics, for unemployed women across Greater Manchester – everything from the basic skills which are essential to today’s workplace through to computer programming basics, the very first step on the path towards a fulfilling career involving programming. Mainly though, these workshops are an opportunity to come along and learn something new, improve your job prospects, meet new people and (most important of all) have fun!

The Basic and Social Media courses are led by Digi Enable, recently recognised as being amongst the Top 100 Digital Leaders in the UK. Training is supported by the Workers Educational Association, and includes lunch and a contribution towards transport if you need it (just ask). To book a place, or if you have any questions, email, call on 07889 774 716 or ask at a library.

Here’s the full rundown of what, where and when the courses are taking place:

Basic Computer Skills

Become a confident PC user. Learn how to use Microsoft Office, and find and share information on the internet.

City, Central Library  23rd & 24th March, 9.30am to 2:30pm
Salford, Walkden Library  24th & 25th March, 9.30am to 2.30pm
Stockport, Edgeley Library 26th March & 2nd April, 9.30 to 2:30pm
Trafford, Urmston Library 27th March and 2nd April, 10am to 3pm
Tameside, Central Library 23rd & 24th April, 9.30am to 2pm

Getting to grips with social media

Don’t know your Facebook from your Twitter? Find out how to use social media for networking, communication and job searches.

City, Central Library  30th & 31st March, 9.30am to 2.30pm
Salford, Eccles library 31st March & 1st April, 9.30am to 2.30pm
Stockport, Edgeley Library 23rd and 30th April, 9.30am to 2.30pm
Trafford, Urmston Library 24th April and 1st May, 10am to 3pm
Tameside, Central Library 30th April and 1st May, 9.30am to 2pm

Introduction to Web Development

Learn how to make a simple three-page website using HTML and CSS, the building blocks of the web.

City, Central Library 27th & 28th April, 9.30am to 2.30pm
Salford, Eccles Library 11th & 12th May, 9.30am to 2.30pm
Trafford, Urmston Library 8th & 15th May, 10am to 3pm
Stockport Date and location coming soon – please register your interest so you don’t miss out
Tameside, Central Library 21st and 22nd May, 9.30am to 2pm

Introduction to Computer Programming

Want to make computing a major part of your career? Learn the ins and outs of coding and get started developing your own software.

City, Central Library 5th & 6th May, 9.30am to 2.30pm
Salford, Swinton Library 19th & 20th May, 9.30am to 2.30pm
Stockport, Edgley Library 21st & 28th May, 9.30am to 2.30pm
Trafford, Urmston Library 22nd & 29th May ,10am to 3pm
Tameside, Central Library 14th and 15th May, 9.30am to 2pm

Sunday Code Club Salford – Term Dates & Twitter A/CWednesday, February 4th, 2015

Term Dates for February/March.

To confirm, the first club will start at MadLab Salford (216 Chapel St) on the 15th February from 2-3pm. We’ll be taking the following week off (22nd), and thereafter we’ll follow term times. I’ve set up a google calendar link for all the spring term events, but currently you’ll need to have a gmail account to access this. I will try and change this in the near future but for now, get in touch (email: if you have a gmail account and want access.

The running dates for this term are:

  • 15th February
  • 1st March
  • 8th March
  • 15th March
  • 22nd March
  • 29th March

All sessions are from 2pm to 3pm.

Twitter account

Code Club Salford has a shiny new Twitter A/C, if you tweet say hi to @CodeClubSalford

Monday sessions

Have been cancelled for this term, however keep checking as we will reinstate them later in the year :)




The Open Data Challenge SeriesThursday, March 19th, 2015

The Open Data Challenge Series run by Nesta and the Open Data Institute is pleased to bring the forthcoming Jobs Challenge to the city of Manchester in April 2015. They will be hosting the Creation Weekend in Manchester on 25/26 April which will be an opportunity for invited teams to come together and develop/pitch their ideas, with a chance to become one of three finalists. They are keen to make sure that there is a good representation of teams from the North West who make it through. To note, the challenge is not a hack and any team wanting to participate will need to submit an application by 30th March via their platform –

In terms of more background on the challenge, it’s designed to get entrepreneurs, designers and citizens to come up with products and services that ‘use open data to help people find better jobs or create new jobs.’ The team have put together user research and an analysis of some of the available and relevant data to help people access the challenge and come up with great user centred ideas that use open data to have a social impact. Broader info about the Challenge is here:

Ultimately, the three finalists (who receive £5,000 and incubation support during the process) and the final winner (who receives £50,000 overall prize) will go on to launch sustainable products and services which will hopefully have an impact for local people in Manchester and the North West.

Ed Parkes (@edtparkes) and Briony Phillips (@BrionyPhi11ips) who run the Challenges are keen to reach out to groups across the city and North West to:

  • participate in the challenge by submitting an idea for a product or service by the deadline at midday on Monday 30th March
  • attend the pitching session at the Creation Weekend on Sunday 26th April from 1400 – 1700
  • spread the word amongst our communities and networks to increase the number of Manchester based teams participating

Please consider entering the challenge or sending this blog post to anyone who you think might be interested. If you’d like more info you can tweet @odchallenges on Twitter or contact Briony (

SciFi Book Club Reading List – Spring/Summer 2015Thursday, February 19th, 2015

For all you Science Fiction fans, here is our next round of books for Manchester SciFi Book Club…

  • 17th Mar – World War Z by Max Brooks (342 pages)
  • 21st Apr – Time’s Eye by Arthur C Clarke & Stephen Baxter (384 pages)
  • 19th May – The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick (272 pages)
  • 16th Jun – We Who Are About To… by Joanna Russ (152 pages)
  • 21st Jul – MaddAddam by Marget Attwood (496 pages)
  • 18th Aug – Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (432 pages)
  • 15th Sep – Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter (400 pages)

An excellent selection which will no doubt lead to some compelling discussion points and more than a few laughs!

More about each book (and the ones that didn’t make the list) can be found on our vote on our next round of books Google Group post

Sci-Fi Book Club

Sci-Fi Book Club

See you next book!

Manchester Sci-Fi Book Club Contacts:

You can contact us via twitter @mcrsf_madlab or by using #mcrsf

Keep up to date with Manchester Sci-Fi book club posts at Madlab

We also have a group on Google which we would encourage you to join.

Manchester SciFi Book Club on Google+