The impact of Connecting Scotland so far has been revealed
Tens of thousands of households have gained access to the digital world, a new report has revealed.
Connecting Scotland was launched in May of last year, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, to address digital isolation across the country.
Since then, £48 million has been invested in the initiative with a total of 40,000 households receiving support.
A network of 2,700 digital champions – who offer support and training to those previously facing digital isolation – has been created and a further 20,000 households will be reached by the end of this year.
The findings were revealed in an impact report published this week. Connecting Scotland is a collaboration between public, private and third sector organisations, funded by the Scottish Government with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and other bodies helping with the distribution of devices and training.
Finance secretary Kate Forbes MSP said: “Connecting Scotland has provided a lifeline to digitally excluded people during the pandemic.
“This virus has posed a major challenge to our normal way of life and devices have helped people keep in touch with loved ones and friends, stay up to date with information, and access public services while we all stayed safe at home, as the personal stories in this report demonstrate.
“Digital champions provided invaluable help and advice to users and we could not have done this without them. We want to rebuild an inclusive economy and society and it is important nobody is left behind.”
The report reveals 86% of those who took part in the scheme said their digital skills have improved, and 74% reported their mental health has improved.
Applications for the latest round of Connecting Scotland are open until 27 September at 5pm, find out more online.