South Scotland MSP, Joan McAlpine, has welcomed news of a £15 million investment to help 23,000 low income families get online.
The funding is part of the Scottish Government’s Connecting Scotland programme and is aimed at supporting households who don’t have proper internet access. The scheme will prioritise disadvantaged families with children and young people leaving care. Qualifying families will get a device, twelve months unlimited data as well as technical support to get online safely and securely. Households will also be linked with a Digital Champion who will provide six months of training and support over the phone.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine says,
“Having proper access to the internet is more important than ever, especially in rural areas like Dumfries and Galloway where people have fewer opportunities for learning, shopping and entertainment. We rely on it more and more to access information, to work from home and to keep in touch with friends and family so those without it are at greater risk of getting left behind, especially during the pandemic.
“The scheme will also help thousands of young care leavers who could not otherwise afford to get online, making sure they are not further disadvantaged by providing the necessary hardware, data, and skills they need to get connected.
“Suitable recipients will be identified by local authorities and third sector organisations who apply to the programme on behalf of those they support.”
The Connecting Scotland programme is delivered in partnership with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and local authorities in collaboration with a broad range of local, public and third sector organisations.