September 7th, 2016

Council digital grants to help district’s communities get online

Council digital grants to help district’s communities get online Council digital grants to help district’s communities get online
Updated: 12:01 pm, Jan 11, 2016

GETTING online will now be much easier for a number of voluntary and community organisations across the district.

Alcester Town Council, Bearley Village Hall Trust, Bidford Community Library, and Heart of England Mencap are among seven groups chosen to receive a digital inclusion grant from Stratford District Council.

Long Compton Parish Council and Village Hall Committee, Southam Church and Community Project and Warwickshire Vision Support make up the remaining three organisations set to be given a helping hand.

The grants programme was made possible thanks to £40,000 of funding from Orbit Heart of England and a range of applications were considered by the council before the winners were selected.

The cash injection will be used to help the groups take advantage of superfast broadband as well as increasing access to wifi in community venues, and enabling volunteer trainers and digital champions to help people use technology such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops.

Funding has also been awarded to more deprived parts of the district – including the Maybird and Bishopton areas of Stratford and Lighthorne Heath – which the council say will enable residents to increase their digital skills.

Council chiefs are hoping to improve residents’ IT skills through young people sharing skills with older generations while support will also be available for vulnerable adults and visually-impaired residents marginalised by the digital revolution.

In addition, the initiative is seeking to enable households without access to use price comparison sites to reduce utility costs, video call distant relatives, access job opportunities and provide online homework resources for youngsters.

Enterprise spokesman, Coun Dave Riches, said: “Increasing digital skills and confidence provides residents with many opportunities.

“People who acquire digital skills can access local information and keep in touch with family and friends, which can be important factors in helping to reduce isolation in our communities.”

Simon Lieberman, Orbit’s community investment manager, added: “As our world becomes more digital, it is vital to help our customers and communities get online. We look forward to seeing the outcomes this project brings.”

Call 01789 260112 or email carol.roberts@stratford-dc.gov.uk for further information.

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