Computer use increased by quarter in Blaenau Gwent since launch of digital inclusion campaign
3:01pm Sunday 27th October 2013 in Gwent news
COMPUTER use in Blaenau Gwent has increased by a quarter since the launch of ‘Get Blaenau Gwent Online’ in April 2013.
Libraries in the county borough are experiencing an increased demand for basic IT support. With more and more services becoming ‘digital by default’ the demand has increased by 26 per cent, which is directly attributable to the success of the Get Blaenau Gwent Online initiative.
Get Blaenau Gwent Online works with local groups and organisations to provide free computer sessions to people who want get online, learn how to use the web and realise its benefits. It combines a number of projects in the county all aimed at helping individuals, community groups and enterprises get online.
A spokesman said: "New technology skills are becoming as important as reading and writing, and those who do not have those skills are likely to become increasingly economically and socially disadvantaged.
"The Digital Inclusion agenda is about improving people’s lives - helping people to communicate more easily, purchase goods for lower prices, and about being able to access public services more easily. Digital inclusion is also about reducing social isolation."
Julie Hales, senior library assistant at Ebbw Vale Library, said: "The ‘Get BlaenauGwent Online’ project has really helped us reduce our waiting list for sessions in the library. There are ‘Digital Friday’ sessions at Ebbw Vale library every week and the customer feedback we have received has been excellent. The project is a real asset to the library service - it has attracted new users and increased library membership. It appeals to our customers as the sessions are tailored to what they want to learn, without the need to attend formal lessons”.
Get Blaenau Gwent Online has been made possible through partnership working between the local authority, various community partners and the Welsh Government’s digital inclusion programme, Communities 2.0, which is supported by European Regional Development Funding.
Further information about Get Blaenau Gwent Online is available on www.getblaenaugwentonline.org.uk or by calling Mark Robbins, Digital Inclusion Co-ordinator on 01485 355457.
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