September 5th, 2016

Council digital inclusion grants to help district’s organisations get online

Updated: 8:33 am, Jan 19, 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 of between £2,800 and £4,000 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 cash injections will allow the groups to take advantage of superfast broadband as well as increasing access to wifi in community venues, and funding training to help people use technology such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops.

Grants of £5,000 have also been awarded to more deprived parts of the district – including the Maybird and Bishopton areas of Stratford and Lighthorne Heath – which the council hope will allow residents to increase their digital skills.

Support will be available for vulnerable adults and visually-impaired residents.

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.

The grants programme was made possible thanks to £40,000 of funding from Orbit Heart of England and applicants were supported in their bids by Voluntary Action Stratford-upon-Avon.

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.”

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

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