Residents of County Durham can now find out where they can get free access to the internet, devices and support with digital skills, this Get Online Week 2023.
Good Things Foundation runs its Get Online Week campaign, from 16 to 22 October. This encourages community organisations to host events to help people get online and fix the digital divide – the gap between those who can get access to the internet and those that can’t.
People who aren’t online, known as the digitally excluded, are at a significant disadvantage to those that can access the internet. Nearly one in five adults lack the most basic digital skills needed for everyday life and an increasing number of households struggle to afford internet access.
Digital Durham, a Durham County Council project, has developed a digital signposting map, allowing residents to find free digital support using their location. At the click of a button, residents can search County Durham for local support offering:
- Public access to computers
- Free public Wi-Fi in a building
- Free data SIM cards
- Loan of a digital device such as a laptop or tablet
- Digital support to do something online
- Digital training (informal and formal)
The map can be accessed on the Digital Durham website at https://digitaldurham.org/digital-directory/
Cllr Susan McDonnell, Cabinet member for digital, customer services and procurement, said: ‘With increasing aspects of life taking place online there’s never been a more important time for a tool like this.
“Being able to access a computer at a library or computer course at a community centre can connect people to better jobs, public services, training and social inclusion. This map makes it easy for people to find where they can get this kind of help locally.”
Digital support providers in County Durham are also invited to add details to the map to promote the free digital services they provide. Interested providers are asked to complete an online form at https://digitaldurham.org/join-us/