‘Digital Neighbours’ Launched to Help People Get Online
Community groups in the Borough of Scarborough are being offered free volunteer training and a chance to access a grant of up to £4,000 to help more people gain the skills to be able to get online.The Digital Neighbours scheme, to be launched at a series of information sessions in Whitby, Scarborough and Filey next month, is split into two parts, with the first element aimed at community groups and organisations that want to equip their volunteers with new skills so they can then teach others how to go online and use the internet. Paid support staff associated with voluntary or community groups may also be eligible to participate.
By completing the training, volunteers then unlock access to the second phase, which gives the organisation they represent the opportunity, if they wish, to apply for funding so they can deliver their own unique project to help people use the internet, which utilises the new skills learnt by the volunteers associated with their group.
The Digital Neighbours scheme is a collaboration between North Yorkshire County Council Stronger Communities, Adult Learning and Skills Service and Scarborough Borough Council, through the Digital Inclusion Partnership, set up in April last year.
Borough councillor, Michelle Donohue-Moncrieff, chair of the Partnership, said:
“The Digital Neighbours scheme we’ve developed is collaboration and partnership working at its best and shows how highly valued the community and voluntary sector is in the borough.
“With the right mentoring and resources behind them, we believe community and voluntary groups can play an even greater role in helping more people gain the right skills to be able to go online and make the most of the internet to improve and enrich their lives.”
Representatives from groups which are part of the community and voluntary sector in the borough are invited to attend one of three information sessions at the Evron Centre in John Street, Filey on Tuesday 19 April from 10am to 11am; The Coliseum in Victoria Place, Whitby on Wednesday 20 April from 2pm to 3pm and at Castle House in Elders Street in Scarborough on Thursday 21 April from 6pm to 7pm. Anyone interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure of a place.
The sessions will include short presentations about digital exclusion and the partnership brought together to tackle it, the free Digital Neighbours training on offer from the Adult Learning and Skills Service and the subsequent Stronger Communities programme application process, with an initial £20,000 set aside for the Digital Neighbours initiative.
Cllr David Chance, North Yorkshire County Council’s Executive Member for Stronger Communities and Public Health, said:
“This is a very exciting opportunity for volunteers associated with grassroots community organisations to learn valuable mentoring skills that will help residents in the Scarborough Borough get online.
“We’re confident the money that is also available through the Stronger Communities Programme will lead to some innovative, imaginative and effective community solutions that will help overcome some of the barriers that prevent people being confident online.”
Representatives from community and voluntary groups who would like to find out more ahead of next month’s information sessions, should contact Tim Readman at the Digital Inclusion Partnership on 01723 384332.
Main image: Some rights reserved by Skley
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