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A fund set up to help local communities get digitally switched on has provided training to almost 9000 people and enabled the installation of WiFi and computer equipment in six locations.

Over the past two years, the Council’s Digital Inclusion Fund has awarded grants of up to £5k to community groups looking to provide local people with computer access. 

Led by the Fairer Falkirk Team, the fund has helped:

  • Increased the knowledge and skills of 8450 residents at digital training sessions.
  • Install WiFi and equipment, including tablets, in five Falkirk Council care homes and the local Travelling Person’s site in Redding.

Gemma McArthur, Fairer Money Officer, who helps roll out the fund, said it had made a real difference to people’s lives, helping them feel more included and less isolated.

She added: “Older people in particular love being online. It helps them stay connected to what is happening in the world, it provides them with a way to learn new things and shop online. One resident in Burnbrae Home is now able to catch up with family living in Canada using Skype, which hadn’t been possible before.”

Carolanne Campbell, Assistant Resource Centre Manager(Burnbrae carehome) said: “Providing our residents with easy access to the Internet along with the equipment needed to get online, has had a positive effect on their lives. Being able to access information at a touch of a button has enabled independence and sparked conversation – and lively debate - that is reducing feelings of isolation.”

Gemma (centre) is pictured with Burnbrae Home residents, Nan Learmonth (82) and Ella Hunter (89).