More than 1,500 digital devices such as Chromebooks and laptops have been given to residents and community organisations in Walsall as part of a £500,000 project to help more people across the region get online.
The investment is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Connected Services Fund which aims to improve people’s digital skills and connectivity.
WMCA, Walsall Council, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and community and voluntary sector partners have joined up to deliver the Connected Services programme. This provides eligible residents with digital devices and, with support from the council’s Walsall Connected team, practical help on how to use them effectively.
WMCA said this is aimed at making it easier for people to access council services and health and social care, and to feel less isolated by helping them make connections.
Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said: “I hope residents will sense the level of commitment we have given in providing over £500,000 in WMCA funding for this programme. We recognise the importance of developing digital skills and widening access right across our region - ensuring no one is left behind in what is an increasingly digital world.
“Whether it’s accessing council services, health and social care support, financial guidance or new job opportunities, we know that programmes like these make a real tangible difference in the lives of local people and I cannot wait to see the results in the months and years ahead.”