Digitally Disconnected

A project to support local people cut off from the digital world

Big Local North Cleethorpes recognises the value of technology and the internet in peoples lives (more so now than ever), but also we realise that many local residents do not have access to computers, smart phones or even the internet.  This puts them at a disadvantage and leaves them potentially  ‘digitally disconnected’ from society and services.

It’s not easy for us to find these people (they won’t be reading our emails, blog or social media of course). But we hope through newsletters, word of mouth and referral, we can find a few local residents we can try and experiment with ways to support them.

Our plan

If people have no internet at home then we’ll explore ways for them to get online.  There are very cheap deals offered to people on benefits for example to signup for home broadband, but we can also investigate the donation or loan of wifi hotspot devices to provide local internet, or with changing sims or mobile phone deals to provide data connections.

If people have no technology then we can look at loaning or donating old/refurbished laptops or chromebooks or tablets.  Something that will enable them to access the internet.

But we’ll also have to help with skills. People will need to learn how to do things with the technology – and we’ll need to do much of this remotely.  So our team members will make phone calls and act as ‘digital champions’ to support residents to make the first steps online.

We’ve started this as an experiment with a small budget and limited time available. So we won’t be helping dozens of people – probably just a few. So please help us to find local residents in the North Cleethorpes area who we can support.

Refer someone (or yourself)

If you’re reading this page then you’re somehow on the internet and a computer – so you’re probably not the person we’re trying to support. BUT if it’s been a challenge to get online then maybe we can still help.

We want to find people we can support.  Residents in North Cleethorpes can be supported by this programme so if someone is in DN35 7xx or 8xx postcodes then they are eligible. If outside of this area then please still get in touch and we might be able to refer you on, even if we can’t help directly ourselves.

Rather than give us someone else’s details, you might prefer to tell them about the project and give them our phone number and then they can get in touch themselves.

So contact Karl via karl@vanel.org.uk or 01472 897337 for more information.

Individuals will be assessed to decide what technology, internet, skills and support they have  access to.  We can then decide if there is something we can help to provide.  The process will be slow – getting the right equipment to people; working through supporting them over the phone and getting them online will not be immediate. So people involved will need to be willing to work through this to get connected. Make sure individuals understand what will be involved, but also why there will be a great reward for their efforts! Thanks.

Useful Resources

If you’re looking for simple guides on how to do pretty much anything with technology (for beginners) then visit www.digitalunite.com/technology-guides  where you’ll find 400+ really simple guides.

Age UK has some useful guides to technology and the internet here www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/work-learning/technology-internet

If you just want to know more about how all kinds of stuff works with technology then LifeWire is worth a regular visit www.lifewire.com

Donate Equipment

Equipment can be recycled and donated to ‘digitally disconnected’ people. If you have any of the following them please consider donating them:

Wi-fi extender blocks you don’t need.
Unused 4g mi-fi blocks (we can add new Sims)
Chromebooks
Tablets
Old laptops

We’re not able to do much repairing, so please make sure the items are functioning (screens, keyboards etc). Please ensure there are also power cables/blocks. It doesn’t matter on laptops if batteries are poor/old – they’ll just have to be used plugged in.

Please make sure any devices have been wiped and personal information removed – otherwise we’ll be wiping them when we receive them.

Laptops can be old (as long as they work) as we’ll be putting LINUX on them. Tablets need to be no more than a few years old as otherwise we find real problems getting them usable.

Please contact us to tell us you can donate equipment and we’ll make arrangements. If we cannot make use of what you have available them we won’t be able to take it as we cannot accept ‘waste’, only items that can be reused.

Thank you in advance if you can help with equipment.

Supported by Big Local

Big Local North Cleethorpes have provided a small cash investment to purchase necessary equipment and services for this project. We also cover the costs of the development time for the team members to deliver the support.

Stay Safe Online

If you are going online then it’s not just enough to connect. You also need to make sure you are staying safe.  Beware of scams and cyber criminals.

Firstly watch for our weekly Scam e-bulletins which you can read here. And also keep an eye on our Neighbourhood Watch partner site at www.nelwatch.org.uk If you’re worried about Scams then we’re able to chat about them in the Scams discussion on our NorthClee community site here.

One of the most useful websites for safety is www.getsafeonline.org
Also visit the National Cyber Security Centre webpages for individuals.
And Digital Unite has lots of guides about Internet Safety here.

Contact Us

Contact Karl Elliott at Big Local via

karl@vanel.org.uk

01472 897337

Either to talk about the project; donate equipment or refer someone to the programme.