Folkestone residents wanting to increase their income have been given a helping hand to explore the benefits of the digital world.
The Digital Inclusion Support Scheme aims to provide hardware and connectivity solutions for those aged over 16 living in the town’s central and east wards who have previously not been able to access the internet.
The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), through the Folkestone Community Works (FCW) programme and Kent County Council’s Helping Hands scheme which is tackling digital exclusion across the county.
The ERDF funding enables the Folkestone scheme to focus on encouraging people to be more entrepreneurial with advice and support about trading via the internet.
Those eligible to join the scheme are given a laptop and/or a connection solution that enables internet access for 12 months. In addition, they are offered support sessions and one to one support.
Folkestone resident Nigel, who attended one of the sessions held at the Civic Centre, said: “I am looking forward to learning and getting to know the computer more. Computers are not my thing but having a computer will make things much easier.”
Cllr David Wimble, Cabinet Member for the District Economy, said: “This is a great opportunity to combat digital exclusion. The internet opens up a wide range of opportunities, particularly for those who are seeking to develop their business ideas or expand a business by trading online.”
Leader Cllr David Monk added: “We are keen to talk to those who may meet the eligibility criteria for this scheme – being over 16 and living in the east and central Folkestone wards.
“It will open many new doors for those residents who have been unable to benefit from digital access or secure regular access previously.”
You can either contact can contact Digital Kent directly or be referred by the councils or other organisations such as the Jobcentre, housing associations or colleges.
If you are interested or know someone who would benefit, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 03000 410950 before the end of March this year.