Briefing paper – Digital Inclusion Project
This briefing provides an overview of the work of Devon County Council’s Economy and Enterprise Digital Inclusion Project.
Aim of Digital Inclusion Project
Devon County Council is running a Digital Inclusion Project with IT consultancy Cosmic to provide digital support to vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals and communities in Devon so they become more digitally aware and can use these skills to improve their everyday lives.
Details of Digital Inclusion Project
The project, which includes a number of tasters, awareness sessions and workshop, aims at helping unemployed , low income and low skilled individuals as well as those living in remote locations get actively involved with new technology. The programme started in June 2013 and will run until March 2015.
The programme aims to help individuals harness IT skills in their everyday lives and relate to how it can benefit them in terms of improving their employability and wellbeing. The project initially mapped the areas of deprivation and from that the locations to target and provide support to residents with the awareness events, taster sessions and workshops were determined.
One strand of the project was to equip people with digital skills through a range of hobby-based courses in areas they already have an interest in, for example, Grow-It for keen gardeners, and Cook-It for those with a passion for cooking.
The project is undertaking work with carers in dementia units where using the internet to access information and photos from the past is triggering patients’ memories and helping them with their care and wellbeing. The project is also delivering Introduction to Skype sessions in partnership with Age UK which enables elderly people to keep in touch with friends and family living further afield.
Work is also been done with a number of Housing Associations to provide residents with access to digital technology to help them improve their employability skills particularly when applying for jobs online, as well as providing them with the basic digital skills needed in the workplace.
Cosmic is leading this project with Pluss, Citizens Online and Campaign for Learning as project partners. The project will embed with the Connecting Devon and Somerset Programme of community delivery and will be evaluated by project partner Citizens Online.
The benefits of the project have already been recognised with Cosmic being announced as finalists in the Corporate Social Responsibly and Innovation categories at this year’s Exeter Express and Echo Business Awards to be held on 4 April.
For more information on the project please contact the contract holder direct Kate Doodson Kate@cosmic.org.uk. You can now follow Devon County Council’s Economy and Enterprise Service on twitter to keep up to date with all our news @DCCEconomy