Nationwide digital inclusion project comes to Pinhoe Library

Posted on: 13 August 2015

Library users in Pinhoe, Exeter, are getting a helping hand with using the internet as part of a new nationwide digital inclusion initiative.

Devon County Council has joined forces with BT and Barclays as part of their campaign to bring free Wifi and hands-on digital support to communities across the UK.

The County Council’s library in Pinhoe is one of 100 UK centres taking part in the initiative, which aims to support the Government’s Digital Inclusion strategy to reduce the number of people offline in the UK by 25% by 2016.

BT have supported the set-up of free Wi-Fi connectivity while BT Digital Friends and Barclays Digital Eagles, specially trained members of Barclays’ staff, will provide free technology advice to help local people build confidence and develop the skills they need to succeed in the digital world.

The first session will be on Wednesday 16th September, and is aimed at people who want to learn how to use their gadgets.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for the library service, said:

“Our libraries are valuable learning and meeting spaces for the local community so I am pleased that Pinhoe Library has been chosen to be part of this project.

“In the UK some 12 per cent of the adult population have never been online and this increases to 61 per cent for those over 75 years old. With so many opportunities from education, interacting with friends, job opportunities and access to government and health services all available online, it has never been more important for members of our community to start their digital journey.

“Free internet access, combined with expert support, will open up the tools and resources for residents to take full advantage of the opportunities that being online has to offer.”

Anna Easton, BT’s Sustainable Business Director commented: “At BT, we believe in the power of communications to make a better world. We want to ensure that everyone can not only access the digital world, but can also have the skills and support they need to stay online in the long term.

“Feedback from our existing digital inclusion programmes shows that for the elderly and unemployed, both access and long term support in the community is essential. This new partnership with Barclays will ensure that support is available for those that need it the most.”

Steven Roberts, Strategic Transformation Director at Barclays, says:
“Across the country, people are experiencing the digital revolution, but like all revolutions, it’s not one that happens to all people at once. Some will adopt digital skills quickly, others will take more time.

“At Barclays, we firmly believe that we have a responsibility to ensure that no one is left behind on the digital journey and through this significant partnership with BT, we can ensure that even more people have access to the services and support they need to embrace the digital revolution.”

For further information please contact Pinhoe Library on 01392 466007 or visit www.wifiinourcommunity.bt.com

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