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27 March 2015, 09:11
£10,000 is coming to Milton Keynes to help get more people online.
Staff within the council's Revenues and Benefits Team successfully bid for the funding from the Digital Experts Programme, run by the Local Government Association (LGA).
Milton Keynes will be receiving the maximum funding for single councils of £10,000 and will be using the funding to create up to 50 Digital Champions.
Digital Champions help others understand the benefits of being online and can show them how to do a range of simple things that can make a huge difference to those who can't or don't use the internet.
The bid was linked to Welfare Reform - in particular needs which will arise under the impending changes for Universal Credit - which will bring together a raft of currently separate benefits.
The Champions will have access to the Digital Champions Network which is an innovative online platform to create, develop and support Digital Champions in the local communities.
With claims for Universal Credit and applications for other services being required to be made on line, the need for digitally enabled citizens has never been greater
The programme will be managed by the council's Connect MK team, which is at the forefront of digital inclusion- for example by already operating a recycled PC loan scheme for those on low incomes.
Cllr Rob Middleton, the Cabinet Member responsible for Resources and Commercialism, said: "As we all know, there are clear benefits to being online and becoming digitally savvy. Many in our communities, though, find it a struggle to master some of the new technology. This pot of money will allow 50 Digital Champions to become active within our communities, teaching residents valuable new skills, meaning that everybody is included in this digital revolution."
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