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Additional funding to support essential digital skills

The Scottish Government, SCVO, BT, Cellnex and Edinburgh and Lothian Health Foundation have been working in partnership to secure over £700,000 for 3 funds to support people in Scotland gain essential digital skills and internet access.

The 3 funds are:

  • The Digital Participation Charter Fund
  • Connecting Communities Fund
  • The Device Refurbishment Support Fund

The Digital Participation Fund

Now in the 8th round, the Digital Participation Charter allows organisations to apply for up to £10,000 to support activities tackling poverty, social isolation and building the digital skills of end users.

The application round will run from 25 February to 22 April.

Details of the fund and how to apply can be found here.

To date the fund has invested £1.5 million in over 189 local projects reaching over 22,000 people all over Scotland.

Connecting Communities Fund

Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation is working in partnership with SCVO to support communities across the region who are disproportionately affected by digital exclusion. Due to Covid-19 there has been an increase of online public services and it is imperative that those needing said services have the technology and skills to access them.

The application round will run from 25 February to 31 March.

The Device Refurbishment Support Fund

£250,000 of the funding was secured by Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Aileen Campbell through reallocation of the Winter Fund. This allocation of funds will support existing third sector organisations to recycle digital devices for distribution to those in need of them.

This work will test the benefit of a community based approach to supporting digital inclusion and examine how this can be applied to digital inclusion programmes in the future.

The application round will run from 25 February to 22 April.

Minister for Trade, Innovation and Public Finance Ivan McKee said:

“We’re all witnessing just how important being online is to help keep people connected, access goods and services, job hunt and find health information.

I’m delighted to be able to announce funds supporting Scotland’s Digital Participation Charter for 2021.

Together with partners including BT, Cellnex and Edinburgh and Lothian Health Foundation we’re making more than £700,000 available in small grants to support those who don’t have essential digital skills, helping them gain confidence and motivation to get online, making a massive difference in their lives.”

For more information, please visit: Digital Participation – SCVO.

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