19 October

We're launching free online courses to help improve your health and wellbeing during Get Online Week

We've partnered with The Good Things Foundation and OpenReach to support you to develop your digital skills during Get Online Week (19-25 October 2020)
National Get Online Week

We have partnered with The Good Things Foundation and OpenReach to support our customers to develop digital skills, confidence and ensure they make the most of the digital technology that modern life increasingly depends on. 

The digital skills project which offers one to one support as well as access to Learn My Way courses is being launched during National Get Online Week (19-25th October 2020) to encourage customers to find out more and tell us how the project can develop their skills. 

The last few months have shown us just how much of a difference the internet can make to our lives, but too many people are still being left behind, without the skills or access they need to benefit from being online.  

Get Online Week 2020 aims to help individuals to find free and friendly support, so they can make the most of the internet. The new LiveWest digital skills OpenReach project  will run until 31 March 2021 and will focus on particular themes each month including, health and wellbeing, online safety, online banking, online shopping as well as understanding Universal Credit and employability.

The first course will offer digital skills to help our customers look after their health and wellness online, as we see an increase in GP surgeries using online systems to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions. 

 

Yvonne Harding, LiveWest Community Training and Employment Development Worker said: “Get Online Week aims to bring digital inclusion to national attention in the UK, giving everyone the chance to find the help they need to improve their digital skills.

''We want to build our customers confidence online, give them a voice. The LiveWest digital skills OpenReach project will enable individuals to access a range of online skills in problem solving, transacting, communicating, creating and managing our information so they can experience the opportunities offered by access to limitless information.

''As well as supporting customers practically, the courses are planned to support emotional and social wellbeing by creating connections to community groups and new hobbies and interests online. ”

All learners will complete LiveWest’s COMPASS, a digital evidence-based tool for supporting an individual’s journey; measuring their progress over a period of time. COMPASS assesses their strengths against the following areas; housing, health, social skills, personal development, finances, employability and learning. COMPASS can then be used by individuals to set key goals for themselves, which LiveWest can support them to achieve. 

We believe in a world where everyone benefits from digital and pledge our support for Get Online Week and want to support our customers to have the chance to get more out of life online. 

As well as this free digital project, we are planning to allocate a total of £100,000 to community groups and organisations to support our customers with digital initiatives and enhancing community spaces.

This digital drive will see £50,000 of support for projects that will boost opportunities for our customers to access digital facilities in the community, improve their digital skills or help them to overcome connectivity barriers.

Tim Wotton, LiveWest Grants Manager, said: “We recognise the importance of our customers being able to get online and access digital services.  

“We believe that not only is digital access essential in managing day to day living in the modern world, but also digital access can bring benefits in terms of social isolation, managing households, benefits and budgeting, and as a tool to support social inclusion and health and wellbeing.”

We already support individual customers with grants for digital equipment, including eight-year-old Katie Stafford, from Totnes, who had her life transformed thanks to a new laptop.

Having been forced to shield during lockdown due to suffering from cystic fibrosis, Katie’s mum applied for a crisis and hardship grant and was successful.

The new laptop reignited Katie’s love of learning as she was able to access educational resources and have virtual medical appointments.

Sarah Burgin, Katie’s mum, said: “I was amazed and thrilled. I had no idea that my housing association would do something like this for me.

“It was a lovely gesture of kindness and I am so thankful.

“Katie’s face was a picture when I showed her the new laptop. It has made a massive difference to her learning. She is now loving school again and the house is a much calmer place.” 

The new digital fund will extend our support of customers by funding groups or initiatives that provide or upgrade community provision, address connectivity issues or that provide training and skills support to customers. 

The other £50,000 of LiveWest’s new grants programme will be used to support community spaces, including community centres, communal rooms or other spaces used by the community and providing direct benefit to our customers.

The deadline to apply for a grant is 14 November. Click here to find our about our grants programme and apply.

Customers struggling with digital access can also apply for a crisis and hardship grant.

To find out more about the LiveWest digital skills OpenReach project, contact Yvonne Harding at LiveWest by emailing yvonne.harding@livewest.co.uk.

Click here to find out more about Get Online Week.

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