Carwyn Jones signals importance of digital inclusion at launch of new initiative
New digital inclusion initiative Get Bridgend Online will help people to use online services such as Universal Jobsmatch and access the other benefits of being online.
Launch event: Friday 6th December
Pyle Life Centre, Bridgend
Carwyn Jones, AM for Bridgend, will launch Get Bridgend Online at Pyle Life Centre on Friday 6th December.
Mr Jones will also present a series of awards to volunteers and digital inclusion champions which recognise the impact they make in helping people to get online in the Bridgend borough.
The Get Bridgend Online initiative is a partnership between housing provider Valleys to Coast, Bridgend County Borough Council, the Local Service Board and The Creation Group. The initiative is supported by the Welsh Government’s Communities 2.0 digital inclusion programme, which is partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
The Get Bridgend Online initiative brings a co-ordinated approach to digital inclusion delivery that meets the needs of digitally excluded people in Bridgend. Communities 2.0 regional digital inclusion initiatives such as this one aim to support individuals affected by the UK Government’s digital by default approach to Welfare Reform. This approach now means that job seekers have to search for posts using the Universal Jobsmatch system which is only available online.
The Get Bridgend Online initiative comprises several distinct elements:
Training for frontline staff to support digitally excluded users of their services to access job search and Universal Credit.
Awareness raising seminars for the Local Service Board
Direct support for digitally excluded individuals in Bridgend.
Training and support facilities have been made available through a network of IT venues such as libraries and community centres.
Engagement of social housing tenants, older people, unemployed people and disabled people with the technology appropriate and relevant to their lives.
The initiative also includes a volunteer element that recruits and supports or Digital Champions to work within the community and support delivery at libraries, community centres and job clubs.
It is estimated that the initiative will work with approximately 1720 direct beneficiaries and up to 800 indirect beneficiaries. It will recruit 20 volunteers and train 80 frontline staff.
Councillor Lyn Morgan, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing at Bridgend County Borough Council, said:
“I welcome the Get Bridgend Online initiative as it is becoming more important than ever for people to be digitally active, especially jobseekers and people living in poorer areas who could otherwise find themselves at a disadvantage.
“Together with our partners, the council believes that it is essential for people to have at least a basic understanding of how to use ICT and the internet, and we look forward to the benefits that this new scheme will deliver.”
Steve Curry, Community Regeneration Manager of Valleys to Coast Housing in Bridgend is a delivery partner in Get Bridgend Online along with The Creation Group. He explained why this initiative is important to the area,
“Valleys To Coast and The Creation Group see how digital exclusion can effect our communities on a daily basis. Our support means that clients who are often intimidated by the idea of getting online are able to learn how to access the benefits they are entitled to and increase their employability within the workforce. By offering them support to get online we can help them to help themselves”.
Cathryn Marcus is Project Director for Communities 2.0 which has supported the development of the project since its inception,
“Communities 2.0 is delighted to add its support to this essential project in Bridgend. Get Bridgend Online will allow each of the partners to develop and grow their own skills and services and embed digital inclusion into the services they offer. This will benefit individuals across Bridgend by giving them support in friendly and accessible community venues such as libraries and community centre’s across the Borough”
For more information on Get Bridgend Online, contact Jonathan Price on 07788 286551, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Communities 2.0 visit www.communities2point0.org or call 0845 474 8282
Notes to Editors:
The launch event will feature a series of awards presented to individuals who have already made a difference to the delivery of digital inclusion in the area.
- Junior Digital Champion 2013
- Senior Digital Champion 2013
- Digital Learner of the Year 2013
- Silver Surfer Award 2013
- Beneficiaries Champion 2013
- Commitment Award 2013
Communities 2.0 is a Welsh Government programme and is part of the Delivering a Digital Wales strategy. Communities 2.0 is delivered by four partner organisations – the Wales Co-operative Centre, Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services, Carmarthenshire County Council and the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling (University of South Wales). Communities 2.0 works in the Convergence area of Wales and parts of Wrexham, Flintshire and Powys, helping communities and small enterprises to make the most of the internet.
Valleys To Coast
Valleys To Coast Housing (V2C) operates in the County of Bridgend, with a stock of some 5,800 houses and a small portfolio of retail premises. It was the first housing association in Wales to be established as a result of a large scale voluntary transfer of social housing ownership by a local authority, supported by tenants.
V2C is an Industrial and Provident Society with Charitable Rules, operating as a social enterprise which invests in both people and communities.
Timecentres UK promotes, designs and create networks of active people all over the UK