Technology a boost for youth group I don’t know about you, but I find that every time I think I have begun to grasp the ramifications of the internet revolution, I discover something new that takes me completely by surprise.

Last week, I visited Routes in Dorchester – a brilliant organisation that has been working with young people locally for many years and has always done a tremendous job in helping some of our most challenged youngsters make their way in the world.

Time was when this sort of thing was a distinctly low tech activity – and of course the centrepiece is still emotional intelligence rather than artificial intelligence.

It's human relationships that really count in such matters.

But, even in this part of the Big Society, high technology has now made its appearance.

The purpose of my visit was to see the amazing “hub” that has been provided for Routes by Microsoft.

Two obviously brilliant young people and a pile of very fancy computing equipment have enabled the organisation to develop the most amazing collection of web-based activities.

I understand that the local police recently received training in the use of Twitter from Routes – and another, equally amazing group of young people were using hardware and software as the basis for a programme of exploration of our rural heritage in West Dorset.

If someone had said to me 20 years ago that these things would be possible today, I don’t think I would have been alone in thinking that they were living with the fairies.