SCVO are launching the fifth funding round of the Digital Participation Challenge Fund, which aims to tackle inequality in Scotland by supporting projects that teach people basic digital skills.
Scotland is already a digital nation. Eight in ten households have an internet connection, and four in ten have a tablet computer. Six in ten people use a smartphone. For those who have the access, motivation and skills to get things done online, life is enhanced.
But still far too many people risk being left behind. Approximately 10% of the adult population in Scotland have never used the internet and almost one in five do not have the basic digital skills to use it effectively.
If this were just a case of missing out on a few distracting websites and celebrity tweets then we might think nothing more of it. But the stakes are so much higher. Amongst other things, the internet helps people keep in touch, learn new things, save money, find work and stay healthy. For some people it’s been a genuine life saver. These things matter to everyone, and they should be for everyone.
Getting people online and developing basic digital skills in Scotland’s communities is key to tackling inequalities and building a fairer Scotland.
Application open for £175,000 of funding
Over the past three years, the Digital Participation Challenge Fund and Charter Fund and have supported 126 projects across Scotland to get people online and develop basic digital skills. The Scottish Government and BT, who are supporting the fund, are now investing a further £175,000 to:
- Support working age people increase financial capability, employment and other economic outcomes
- Support older and disabled people reduce social isolation and loneliness
The new Digital Participation Charter Fund is now open for applications. There is a particular focus for the Fund to support organisations currently working to tackle poverty, social isolation and other forms of inequality to embed basic digital skill development work into their day-to-day activity with service users.