Digital Inclusion is about improving access to online services for our residents.
It plays a vital role in ensuring people who may be vulnerable and socially isolated are not further disadvantaged by the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. Access to health care, access to shops and services, social interactions, education, have all been drastically impacted. Individuals who lack the digital skills, confidence, as well as access to devices and connectivity to get online are isolated and excluded from the benefits of the internet.
We are working to improve digital inclusion for our residents with a specific focus on our most vulnerable residents to ensure that they can benefit from the opportunities and advantages of the internet era. The ability to use online resources have become a critical part of day to day life and enabling residents to access these resources improves both time and cost savings.
Croydon Council’s vision is to become a truly digital council and borough. Our commitment to providing residents with the skills and access to use the internet and to improve social inclusion is even more important as a result of the Croydon Renewal Plan.
Prior to lThe 2019 pandemic, we worked with RedDoor Managed IT Services to deliver digital workshops in Croydon libraries aimed at older residents. The 2-hour workshops covered how to get online safely, sending emails, using council services online, social media and online shopping.
We also delivered one to one training sessions for residents in three sheltered accommodation blocks in New Addington and continued to offer remote training support during lockdown. We plan to resume digital inclusion sessions at the library and community spaces in Spring 2022.
More recently, we have been working with teams to accelerate the provision of Wi-FI in community areas in sheltered accommodation blocks and are looking at how we can provide internet access and devices to households in need across the borough.
We are committed to helping our residents get online and supporting them on their digital journey, whatever their ability or level. We hope our continued efforts along with the support of our partners and key organisations will help to make a difference towards ending the digital divide.