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Newydd Housing Association – Linda’s story

Digital exclusion can often have a detrimental impact on health, education and social isolation. The majority of those who attend Digital Drop-In sessions tend to feel excluded as they cannot afford a digital device or do not have the knowledge or confidence to use their digital device to its full potential. This is an issue that Newydd Housing Association strive to resolve. Newydd Housing Association has been working with a number of partners including Communities First, Vale of Glamorgan Council, Digital Communities Wales and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council to set up an extensive digital program which helps tenants and the wider community with support, advice, training and equipment to resolve this issue.

Digital support is provided through a range of digital drop-in sessions located in local libraries and community hubs which offer tenants and community members free 1-2-1 support. The drop-ins are run by tech savvy digital champions who volunteer their time to support those who are digitally excluded.

Linda Cosslett, a tenant of Newydd Housing Association, has benefitted from the support, training and equipment provided by Newydd. Linda and other residents attend weekly digital drop-in sessions at their independent living scheme which are delivered by Rob John, a Digital Champion who helps them build confidence around digital equipment and the internet.

Linda said “The digital drop-ins run by Rob have been extremely helpful to me. Over the past few months Rob has been teaching me how to search and find information using Google, use email, share photographs, and connect with friends and family using Facebook. Since attending the digital drop-in I have also been loaned a laptop from Newydd through their Loan IT project. The laptop has allowed me to further learn and keep up-to-date with friends and family outside the drop-in.”

Essential digital skills programs can show people skills as basic as how to switch on their computers, to using their left and right clicks from a mouse. They can have a great impact on people’s lives, making them more confident and capable of participating in modern society. Newydd will continue to offer this support to ensure no one is left behind.

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“I believe that the impact of this project has been truly life changing. Feedback from tenants has said it has supported them into further education, assisted them to reduce the cost on any purchases or bills, and allowed them to reconnect with friends and family through social media.”

Shannon Maidment from Newydd Housing Association