Digital inclusion support helps Welsh veterans
Digital Communities Wales is in the process of supporting Change Step, to help the people it works with.
Led by CAIS – a North Wales charity that supports people across a range of personal issues – and managed by Drug and Alcohol Charities in Wales (DACW), Change Step is a peer mentoring and advice service. This service is for military veterans and others with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a range of psychosocial problems who want to make positive changes to their lives.
The service is delivered by veterans for veterans and aims to support those seeking help for problems encountered as a result of military or operational duty. The programme offers peer support, training opportunities and signposting to relevant health and welfare services. Change Step has identified a growing need for the veterans they’re supporting to get more from being online.
Digital Communities Wales (DCW) is supporting Change Step in a few ways:
1. A DCW Regional Co-ordinator has devised a Digital Improvement Plan for Change Step.
2. Advice has been provided to Change Step on a funding application, which they are hoping will enable them to buy more IT equipment.
3. Training will be provided to Change Step frontline staff and volunteers.
Linzi Jones, Fundraising Manager, Change Step “We’re looking to use the ‘train the trainer’ accredited training, through Digital Communities Wales, to enable our staff to work with some of our service users to help them get online. This could be to use social media to get in touch with other veterans or set up peer support groups. Helping our service users in this way can also enable them to apply and access benefits online, health information as many have PTSD and self-help information”.
Jason, Peer Mentor and veteran, Change Step “I first went on Facebook to see if any of my ex-Army friends were on there, so we could organise reunions. Some of the clients we work with can be shown how to do this and access other online sources of help, advice and support. I also use Twitter to share details of some of our local work. As a veteran, I know how useful this can be to others and we try to introduce other veterans to technology in fun ways.”
Watch a video of Change Step talking about their digital inclusion work, on our YouTube channel.