There is now wide recognition of the importance of addressing digital inclusion as a priority to reduce social isolation and help improve people’s well-being, including mental health and connectedness. The experience of lockdown has highlighted this issue and there is an increased focus on assisting those currently digitally excluded to get connected. A number of digital inclusion initiatives have been developed to help:
Connecting Scotland is funded by Scottish Government and co-ordinated by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO). This programme is targeted to assist people on low incomes and has clear criteria provides a device (either a Chromebook or iPad), mifi and support via a dedicated local digital champion. Find out more about Connecting Scotland.
Connecting Scotland - applications are now closed.
People Know How
‘People Know How’ is a 3rd sector charity which operates in East Lothian and can provide laptops to community groups including Community Councils. They have devices available and volunteers who can assist people to develop their computer skills – they are also keen to recruit more computer ‘buddy’ volunteers locally to help people in East Lothian.
Reconnect is a service offering support to adults and families in Edinburgh and East Lothian to help them to improve wellbeing by increasing digital and social inclusion: find out more about Reconnect
People Know How have secured devices and data through the Connecting Scotland project for those individuals who have left school and are unemployed, individuals who have recently lost their jobs or are in low paid work but wishing to improve their chances.
Some funding may also be available to support purchasing equipment such as laptops or for training, through your local Area Partnership. Find out more on the Area Partnerships webpage
Celebrating Communities - Pennypit Computer Club
During a conversation around digital inclusion, Ang from the Pennypit Computer Club shared her experiences of running the club and some of the stories of the members and their digital journey.
For more information and to view the video click here
Good Things Foundation
The National Databank provides free mobile data, texts and calls to people in need via Good Things Foundation’s network of local community partners. Think of it like a ‘food bank’ but for internet connectivity data. Community organisations can apply to access the databank, enabling them to provide data to people in their communities who need it.
For more information about our work to improve digital inclusion contact firstname.lastname@example.org