Digital skills are increasingly vital for individuals and also the economy. Digital inclusion is about having the correct skills, access, motivation and trust to use computers and the internet with confidence.
Approximately 12 million adults in the UK lack digital skills (GOV.uk) which are essential for full participation in todays society; for work, life and learning. This can have a devastating affect on an individuals health and well-being.
Government research shows that there are a number of barriers that can affect individuals ability to access digital services;
Access not everybody can afford to buy computer or phone that allows them to go on the internet. They may be unaware of where to access services. Or they may be apprehensive to make purchases due to lack of knowledge.
Skills not everybody has the skills to access online services.
Confidence Many people are afraid of the internet and internet crime or they may not know how or where to begin.
Awareness not everybody is aware of all of the services that are available online.
Mansfield Community Voluntary Service (MCVS) is a charity that supports the community and voluntary sector in Mansfield and district and has recognised that digital isolation is a major problem within the area. It is exploring initiatives that can help remove some of these barriers that people face and provide assisted digital support in several ways. We want to
Provide a suitable space to accommodate sessions and projects
Provide a facilitator for sessions and projects
Develop a programme of sessions and events
Work with strategic partners such as the DWP, Local Authorities to run initiatives
Enable access to benefit applications, health advice, medical services, job search and general assistance
Encourage and promote tech buddies in companies, organisations and the public
In order for MCVS to carry out and promote these projects to the local community, we are looking to raise around £5000.