Around 230 households in the Highlands will benefit from the initiative
Around 230 vulnerable families in the Highlands have been gifted smartphones, tablets and laptops to enable them to connect to the internet during the coronavirus pandemic.
The devices were given to older people suffering from social isolation, children unable to access school resources or contact friends, families in financial hardship and members of the travelling community.
Victims of domestic abuse were also provided with secret phones as part of the initiative, which is being delivered by social enterprise The Libertie Project in consultancy with the National Business Response Network.
Alongside the devices, recipients will share in a massive 17,250GB of data, allowing them to get online using mobile broadband.
Liberty Bligh, CEO of The Libertie Project, said: “Digital exclusion is a massive problem for Scotland’s most vulnerable communities, and Covid-19 has highlighted how isolating a lack of internet connection is.
“So much of life takes place online these days that an internet connection is really a human connection - and in many cases it’s the only contact that some people have.
“Across Scotland, thousands of children, families and elderly people are being excluded from modern life. We were delighted to help these people to get online, and would like to thank the National Business Response Network for helping make it possible.”
The National Business Response Network was launched in April by the charity Business in the Community and The Prince’s Responsible Business Network with more than 750 member companies. Since its launch, it has received a total of £2 million investment from AXA and the London Stock Exchange Group.
Amanda Mackenzie OBE, chief executive of Business in the Community, said: “It has been phenomenal to see how businesses, local groups and charities have come together over the past six months to make a difference.
“There are still many communities that need help, and many more that will struggle as the winter draws closer. If your business can help, please get in touch with the National Business Response Network and let’s work together to get people back on their feet.”
Community organisations in need of help and businesses wanting to offer their support are urged to visit the network’s online board of needs and offers.