New health site illustrates Medrwn Môn’s commitment to the Digital Inclusion Charter
From Lon Moseley, Môn Community Link Development Officer, Medrwn Môn
Digital inclusion is a large part of my role as Môn Community Link development officer in Medrwn Môn, the local voluntary council in Anglesey. I don’t only suggest to people and organisations to search, as well as upload their information, on a new wellbeing website called Dewis.Cymru, but also assist anyone who wishes to upload their information on the site – this can be done in person, by e-mail or over the phone as needed. I also suggest ways that being on the internet or social media can have a positive effect on an individual’s wellbeing.
We received a call from ‘Mrs N’, who was asked to contact us by her GP following a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. She wanted to be in contact with a local support group in Anglesey, as she believed that being in the company of, and chatting to, others in the same situation would help her accept the diagnosis, and find a way to deal with it. Unfortunately, the local group had come to an end due to the organiser’s own illness. This is when, over the phone, I asked if she had looked on the internet. She did say that she had a Facebook account, and did use it, but wasn’t too confident. During the conversation, I managed to convince her to take a look at a Facebook group called Fibromyalgia North Wales Support Group – and encouraged her to join it. Within this group she could get all the support and chat she required, without having to travel to Kinmel Bay where the nearest group meet.
When Mrs N joined the group, she sent a question asking whether anyone else in the group lived in Anglesey, she got five replies – and arranged to meet a week later. They now meet on a regular basis and are in the process of re-starting the original support group. She was surprised at the responses she received through Facebook and noted “It’s always nice to know that you are not alone”. Without digital inclusion, Mrs N would not have been in touch with others who suffer from fibromyalgia and would not have been able to contact other people nearby with the same condition.
Signing the Digital Inclusion Charter was the next logical step for us, as digital resources are an important tool within Medrwn Môn. This is not only to support the wellbeing of individuals as mentioned above, but all staff use it on a day-to-day basis to assist individuals to find volunteering opportunities by encouraging use of the Volunteering Wales website; we help organisations find new funding streams for their projects online; we get individuals involved within their communities by encouraging the use of angleseycommunitybuildings.co.uk and through Môn Community Link. We encourage citizens to be involved within the Anglesey Citizen Panels through online questionnaires, and share relevant information on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We are also an integral part of the Digital Inclusion group in Anglesey. Supporting people on Anglesey is one of Medrwn Môn’s key roles and digital inclusion, as you can see above, is a vital part of this.