Boost to life chances when digitally included
Scotland’s largest provider of homeless services has just published the results of an innovative project where 100 people experiencing homelessness were provided with a digital device.
Simon Community Scotland said the particpants were given unlimited connectivity, support from a trained digital champion and a learning framework of digital skills.
Participants used their devices to increase their quality of life in different ways - connecting with friends and family, reaching support networks, staying up to date with the latest news, accessing government services, managing personal finances (including their benefits), accessing online entertainment and content to improve their mental health and wellbeing.
Jamie Trout, digital inclusion project manager for Get Connected 10, said: “We are extremely proud to present exciting new evidence in this report, demonstrating the overwhelmingly positive impact and profound life changing outcomes achieved in the Get Connected 100 project.
“The evidence in this report shows that digital inclusion is an essential contributor to recovery from homelessness. When people experiencing homelessness are included in the digital landscape, they have a pathway to many other types of inclusion.
"Digital inclusion doesn't just include people in 'digital', it includes people in society.”
The report found that 96% of participants improved their quality of life; 91% increased their use of digital tools; 92% now place more value on connecting to the internet; and 94% will continue to use digital.
Lorraine McGrath, CEO for Simon Community Scotland, added: “I am so humbled by all of the work the people we support have done to embrace new things and new learning. None of this would have been possible without the Scottish Government’s support of our Get Digital Scotland programme,and our amazing Get Digital Partners.
“There is so much more to do, and we look forward to continuing to grow our partnerships and projects so that more people can benefit from the digital world.”