Digital inclusion in action in Wales
The following press release was issued recently, to help promote the fact that Communities 2.0 is now working in North East Wales:
A scheme which helps people get online and make the most of the internet is expanding to Wrexham and Flintshire.
Communities 2.0 is a Welsh Government scheme which breaks down the barriers that stop communities and enterprises using the internet and helps more people to get online.
Latest figures show that 34% of adults in Wales were “digitally excluded” in 2010, meaning they did not go online or use the internet at all. With their mission to help people make the most of the web, Communities 2.0 can now provide free help to communities in Wrexham and Flintshire to get residents online and make the most of the internet with taster and training sessions.
Kevin Roberts, the new Communities 2.0 Broker for Wrexham and Flintshire, said: “We want to break down the barriers that stop people getting on the internet.” Kevin said getting online was useful for many different reasons. “It can save you money as many items online are cheaper and you can get the best deals on price comparison websites. It’s also convenient as you can order your shopping, make a doctor’s appointment and renew your car tax with the click of a mouse. “You can stay in touch with family and friends, search for jobs, find out what’s going on where you live and even study online.”
And it’s just not individuals who can benefit from Communities 2.0 setting up in Wrexham and Flintshire. Help is also available for community groups, voluntary organisations and charities who need help with technology and the internet.
Kevin said: “We can help with setting up websites, give advice about new computers and other bits of hardware and help with running an IT-based project in the community. “And if you already have an idea to get people in your area using technology, we can help with advice to turn that idea into reality, put you in touch with people who have similar ideas, offer training for essential skills and practical support to solve technical problems.” He added: “We can help your group, association, enterprise or association to train members, volunteers, employees and tenants in learning new digital technology skills.”
And budding entrepreneurs in Wrexham and Flintshire are also being urged to take advantage of the new scheme. Local people dreaming of starting up in business and in need of assistance to make the most of digital technology and the internet are now being encouraged to come forward and seek help from Communities 2.0. Small businesses can get financial help towards IT equipment as well as advice and practical support. Communities 2.0 can help people who are thinking of setting up a business where IT would be crucial to its day-to-day running. No IT skills are necessary to apply for help as officers will provide training and support.
“As well as funding for IT equipment, we can provide everything from setting up a website to reviewing your current use of IT, to training you to use new software or technology,” said Kevin. He added: “We can help you to find new customers with marketing support and we can show you how to use social media such as Facebook and Twitter and even how to trade online.”
To qualify for financial support, the business should be able to show how it can be of benefit to the local community. Ideally, it will help the local community either through an environmental or volunteering element. It could employ local people or provide learning and training opportunities. Support is also available to existing enterprises where technology is an integral area of the business.
Kevin explained that people, community groups and enterprises in Wrexham and Flintshire who wanted more information should get in touch.
“Simply give us a call and we will be able to answer your questions and tell you what we can do for you to help you to get the most out of the internet,” he said.