Visit to Manchester's Google Digital Garage

Grow with Google  Standard YouTube Licence

Jane Lambert

Yesterday on the way to the dentist I noticed a new business on King Street with the familiar Google logo. The signage proclaimed the premises as a "Google Digital Garage".  It was furnished with a few chairs and tables and staffed by young men and women in Google liveried tee-shirts. Having a few minutes to spare I went in.

I was welcomed by a gentleman who told me that the Google Digital Garage offered free training and coaching in computer skills to anyone who wanted it.  He pointed me to a timetable offering classes in website building, social media strategy and other topics. He also handed me a booklet entitled "What's On".

The booklet described the Google Digital Garage as "a space on the high street where everyone can come in for face-to-face digital skills coaching - for free!" A box headed "Who's it for?" indicated that "Everyone is welcome: From people hoping to find work, change career or get a promotion to students, businesses and charities or even those who have never used a computer." Courses could be booked online at or in person at the premises at 43 King Street, Manchester, M2 7AT. Classes were offered to absolute beginners from "First Steps Online" in "Boost Your Confidence" to "Skills for Work", "Grow your Career or Business" and "Small Business Workshops,"

I attended my dentist and was relieved to find that I required no extractions, fillings or other major work.  As that consultation had not taken long, I returned to the Google Digital Garage. I mentioned a couple of problems that I had with directing domain names to my blogs to a lady who staffed the reception desk. She booked me in for a coaching session with a trainer called "Phil" and an hour long class in web design. Phil solved my problem with domain name direction. If you key in my domain name you will find it directs straight to the home page of this family of blogs. In the class that started immediately after my one-to-one with Phil another trainer taught us how to make a simple website using Google sites covering everything from planning the site and registering a domain name to publishing and search engine optimization.

Even though I have been blogging for years and designing and buildings websites using Microsoft FrontPage for even longer I learned a lot that was new.  In the evening at home I did one of the basic online courses and learned even more.

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