Organisations working with people who have been left isolated by the coronavirus outbreak are invited to apply to a programme to help them reconnect through use of digital technology.
Connecting Scotland is a national programme set up in response to the coronavirus outbreak in order to help vulnerable and digitally excluded individuals access the services and support they need. It will also help them to keep in contact with their friends and family.
The programme will see approximately 9000 pieces of digital equipment such as Chromebooks and iPads with a monthly data allowance, allocated to local authorities across the country.
Local organisations can apply to receive equipment from the Local Authority allocation if they work with individuals who meet the following criteria:
- digitally excluded - do not have an appropriate device and/or are not connected to the internet at home
- on low incomes so cannot afford to buy a device or pay for internet access
- isolated due to coronavirus because they're in the shielding group or the clinically vulnerable group
Applications must be submitted by 10 July. The application form and guidance can be online via: Applying to Connecting Scotland
Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis, so it is recommended that applications are submitted promptly.
Leader of West Lothian Council, Lawrence Fitzpatrick said: "The coronavirus outbreak has affected us all but there are some in our community who will have been more adversely impacted and cut off from vital services.
This is the first step in an important initiative that provides an opportunity for us to help individuals overcome any technological obstacles that might be preventing them from accessing crucial services. I would appeal to interested organisations not to hesitate and submit their applications well in advance of the July 10th deadline."