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Thousands of devices to be distributed to tackle digital exclusion

 

The next phase of the £43 million Connecting Scotland programme has opened for applications

Thousands of disadvantaged young people are being helped to develop valuable digital skills through the Scottish Government’s Connecting Scotland programme.

More than 23,000 iPads and Chromebooks are being distributed among digitally excluded low-income families and care leavers, as part of the latest phase of the £43 million programme.

As well as a new device, recipients also receive mobile data and help to use the internet confidently and safely for up to two years.

Connecting Scotland works with local authorities, public bodies and third sector organisations to reach people across the country.

Communities secretary Aileen Campbell said: “Access to the internet brings huge benefits, especially during these challenging times. It provides a way to keep in touch and keep us informed, and is also an important way for people of all ages to further their education, find work and training opportunities.

“That’s why in this year’s Programme for Government we further committed to our world-leading Connecting Scotland programme by pledging to reach a total of 50,000 digitally excluded or marginalized people by the end of 2021. The combination of a device plus ongoing support means that everyone can get the most out of their laptop or tablet, and develop their skills.

“So far more than 8,700 people have  received this package, and the stories fed back to us from local organisations show the real difference it’s making to households across the country.”

The full-time carer of a child who received a laptop through the programme said: “Thank you so much, the laptop is amazing. We downloaded Google Classroom and Ruby* did all her schoolwork. It was so fantastic to see her enjoy looking at a decent sized screen – it’s been a struggle to have Ruby do homework on an old mobile phone which is past its best. To be able to help her home school on a proper laptop is wonderful.”

You can find out more and apply now on the Connecting Scotland website.

*name changed in order to protect identity

 

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