A new digital inclusion, social prescribing service is now available in the Falmouth and Penryn area. The free service is open to all residents aged over 18. A person must be digitally excluded in some way, who would benefit from support to get online.
Professionals can make referrals to access the service and self-referrals can be made by residents who live within the Falmouth and Penryn area. The service is also being tested to cover Truro, Redruth, Camborne and Pool which could be made permanent if successful.
Jan Rooney, digital social prescriber for Pluss said: “If anyone feels excluded in some way from accessing online services, shopping online or even keeping in touch with friends and family via the internet, we can help you.”
There are many reasons why people are digitally excluded. Some people want to get online but do not have a device or access to wi-fi. Others lack confidence or the skills needed to use a smart device – that could be a mobile phone, tablet, laptop, television or even communicating with virtual assistants like Alexa, Google or Siri using smart speakers and other devices.
Jan continued: “You’ll be offered a package of support over a 16-week period looking at what matters to you, what your goals are and what you would like to achieve. The support extends to other areas as well as digital, for example, you might need help with debt, unemployment, or loneliness.”
One recent participant of this new service was a local mum who wanted to return to the workplace. She needed to update her CV and wanted to access online training but had no access to a computer. She was keen to find a volunteering role as a first step towards employment. She was provided with a laptop through the BBC’s ‘give a laptop’ scheme and linked with a volunteering opportunity locally. Her confidence and self-worth grew, she was successful in gaining the voluntary role doing something she loves and is now focused on returning to college and finding paid work.
The service is delivered by Pluss, a community interest company that supports hundreds of people across the county with disabilities and other disadvantages move forward with their lives. The project is funded by The European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.
Anyone who would like help to get online can contact Jan Rooney, digital health and wellbeing coach by email [email protected] or by calling 07767 118281.