Published: Tuesday, 28th September 2021
Hundreds of residents who are at high-risk of COVID-19 are now able to secure access to the internet, portable devices and digital skills training.
And all for free – thanks to the new Greenwich Get Digital loan and learn scheme!
Working with DG Cities - the Councils very own innovation company - the loan and learn scheme forms part of the Royal Borough of Greenwich Community Champions initiative and the COVD-19 effort to improve digital access and skills by giving residents the digital tools and skills they need to get online, be more informed and secure access to the services they need.
Local community centres and organisations are taking part in the pilot and earlier this month we caught up with some of the residents taking part to find out what they hope to get out of it.
Nepalese Gurkha Veterans Community Project
“When someone needs help, they call me,” says Gyan Tamang, Nepalese community volunteer and Gurkha veteran. “From doctors’ appointments to medical emergencies – it’s a strong part of our culture to look after one another. With the new tablets we will be able to see instant benefits - from a click of a button we can talk with one another online and members of our community can take part in eConsultations with their GP – never before possible. There’s a big generation gap between us elders and the youngsters but we need them to show us how to make the best possible of the equipment as well as attending the free training courses on offer – we can’t wait.”
Pauline Cahill, Age UK Bromley and Greenwich Project Coordinator and local facilitator of the Scheme said: “The tablets and support offered will make a huge difference and will help us and the Nepalese Gurkha community to reach so many more people.”
Barnfield Education Project
Barnfield resident Mariama Koroma told us the main benefit is for her children: “They have to share one device and with more and more lessons online, they are missing out on huge chunks of their education. By borrowing a laptop, even for a short time, this will change our lives.”
About the scheme
Cllr Adel Khaireh, Cabinet Member for Culture, Communities and Equalities said: “I am very excited about this pilot scheme which is helping digitally isolated residents and seldom heard communities at high-risk of COVID-19 to secure accurate, up-to-date information and support. And hopefully we will also see a reduction in the amount of misinformation being shared about the virus.
“I’m also keen to see the results of this pilot and whether the Council can loan devices for longer than four weeks which, from the feedback I’ve received, will help many residents. In addition, we could also look at working with companies in Royal Greenwich that are replacing their IT equipment to donate much-needed kit to community groups.”
Loan a tablet or laptop and secure training
Sign up to the Greenwich Get Digital Loan and Learn Scheme at royalgreenwich.gov.uk/digitalloanandlearn
- Watch our video at https://youtu.be/NAzPCwxlM88
- DG Cities innovation at dgcities.com
- Royal Borough of Greenwich Digital Strategy 2020 to 2024: royalgreenwich.gov.uk/digital-strategy
- Nepalese Gurkha Veterans Community Project: ageuk.org.uk/bromleyandgreenwich/activities-and-events/nepalese
- Barnfield Education Project: bepeducation.org.uk