A new project seeking to support the 9 percent of citizens in Denbighshire who are currently not online has been launched to encourage them to use digital technology to access the services they need in everyday life.
Digital Confidence Denbighshire will be delivered by Cwmpas and will run until December of 2024. The project has received £515,106 from Denbighshire County Council’s allocation of UK Government Shared Prosperity Funding to support residents to get online by delivering drop-in sessions, workshops and essential digital skills courses in the area.
Digital inclusion can be empowering and help people to participate in day-to-day life and will support people to use online and digital services where they may lack a device, live in an area with poor connectivity, or have low skills or confidence.
Other benefits include saving money, reducing loneliness and isolation, increasing skills and knowledge, and even increasing employability skills.
Digital Inclusion Alliance Wales (DIAW), a group of 90 organisations working to make Wales a digitally-inclusive nation, found that as more vital services move online, including NHS appointments and benefits portals, there is a real danger that older people, those with additional needs and Welsh speakers will be at risk of missing out on accessing vital services.
And according to the National Survey for Wales, 7% of the population of Wales are not online. Just 41% of those over 75 years old are online and there are less people with disabilities or long-term health conditions online. It also highlighted that efforts are required to ensure that Welsh speakers are able to confidently access online services.
Digital Confidence Denbighshire will work with all of the groups affected, as well as those who are socially isolated, families with lower incomes and people experiencing homelessness to ensure they can safely and confidently access digital services.
David Madge, Regional Programme Lead at Cwmpas said:
“Digital inclusion and digital literacy are essential rights and skills in a modern world. More and more essential services are delivered online, from council tax, banking and finance, gas, water and electricity services to many aspects of health care. It’s vitally important we enable and empower people to use digital services, which can massively improve their quality of life”.
Councillor Jason McLellan, Denbighshire County Council Leader and Lead Member for Economic Growth & Tackling Deprivation, said:
“Digital technology has become a major part of everyday life for most of us, but for some people these technologies are not as easily accessible. The Council is pleased to be able to support Cwmpas with this grant from the county’s allocation of Shared Prosperity Funding to help support people in our local communities to get online and feel confident using digital technologies to access the services they need.”
If you are a resident of Denbighshire, or know someone who can benefit, you can get involved in the project by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, visiting https://cwmpas.coop/digital-confidence-denbighshire/, or by being referred by a relevant agency.