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.
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: https://peopleknowhow.org/reconnect/
Some funding may also be available to support purchasing equipment such as laptops or for training, through your local Area Partnership. Find out more https://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/info/210567/your_community/12397/area_partnerships_in_east_lothian
For more information about East Lothian Council’s work to improve digital inclusion contact firstname.lastname@example.org