Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council, Digital Communities Wales and Denbighshire County Council have teamed up to launch a new digital volunteering scheme in the county to help those that need assistance with digital technology.The pandemic has highlighted more than ever that digital inclusion is fundamental and without technology it would be extremely difficult to stay connected with family, friends and loved ones in lockdown.
However, there are still people who are not as confident in using tablets and smartphones, and the aim of this scheme is to reach out to those that feel left behind and help them acquire those invaluable digital skills.
Technology can be life changing, can make people more independent and boost mental health.
Denbighshire Digital Buddies have been recruited to offer much needed help over the phone.
Gareth Jones, of Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council, said: “Communities across Wales and especially in Denbighshire have come together during this pandemic, and our digital buddies scheme aims to tap into that positive energy within our communities to support each other."
Cllr Bobby Feeley, Denbighshire County Council’s Lead for Wellbeing and Independence, said: “This pandemic has brought to light the need for digital assistance more than ever. At the beginning of this pandemic most people were able to learn quickly on how to stay in touch, but for others in our community, they found it extremely difficult. This scheme will hopefully reach those people who need extra help and helped keep our communities connected."
“The council felt it was essential for us to support this scheme, as it is a positive step forward to helping those in need”.
Deian ap Rhisiart of Digital Communities Wales said: “We have been working in the field of digital inclusion for nearly a decade across Wales, and this is a timely response to tackle the digital skills gap. People need to be able to stay connected, to be able to use digital services, sustain their mental health in lockdown, and technology is an integral part of the solution."
Digital Buddies will begin to assist people over the phone next month.
Volunteer Keith Jones said: "There is a danger of some people in society being left behind. This has become more evident during the pandemic. I would like to use my skillset to assist.
If you have or know of a relative or friend that has received a tablet or smartphone for Christmas and require help how to use it, the scheme would like to hear from you and they can be paired up with a Digital Buddy.
* Contact Gareth Jones on 01824 702441 for further information or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.