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Ebbw Fach Communities First Cluster

Communities First is a Welsh Government programme that supports the Tackling Poverty agenda

It does so through 3 main themes:

  • Healthy Communities
  • Learning Communities
  • Prosperous Communities

Each area, or Cluster, focusses on activities that lead to the sustainability and wellbeing of communities, involving local people, agencies and partners.

The main aim of the Cluster is to understand the ‘gap’ between the most affluent areas of Wales and that of the Cluster area (for example Life Expectancy or Key Stage results) and work with other partners to close that ‘gap’.

There are 52 Clusters across Wales, with Blaenau Gwent having 4 (Tredegar, Ebbw Fawr, Ebbw Fach North and Ebbw Fach South). This particular case study is based on support provided to the Ebbw Fach South and North Cluster staff by Digital Communities Wales.

How We Helped

Digital Communities Wales (DCW) provided support to Ebbw Fach Communities First (EFCF) through a training course to a group of frontline staff members. The training was delivered through a half -day course and focused on three key issues – social media, e-accessibility and saving money online.

The training was delivered by one of DCW’s Digital Inclusion Practitioner Trainers, to a group of people who cover various roles within the team and who also have a range of computer and internet skills. For example, some of the staff work in the community with local residents, while some tend to be more office based.

Each attendee was given access to an iPad, which some had limited experience of. The session looked at how people can benefit from being on social media, in terms of contacting friends, family and local services, while also covering online security.

E-accessibility helped attendees to gain a better understanding of how people with a diverse range of disabilities and health problems need to use technology, and the barriers that they have to overcome.

The ‘saving money online’ section helped to bring digital and financial inclusion together, looking at price comparison sites, online banking, credit unions, Money Made Clear Wales website and online coupons – all tools that could prove useful in a community that experiences relatively high levels of poverty.

Find out from Andrew and Sofia what they thought of the training in this video…