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More access to digital technology

19th September, 2016

Local people are to benefit as Gloucestershire County Council gives its refurbished computers to community cafes and drop in hubs.

With help from its ICT partner Sopra Steria, the council is refurbishing and donating the computers it no longer uses as part of a new project called e-Forwards.

e-Forwards is part of the council’s Forwards initiative which helps disabled people in Gloucestershire to get into work.

Giving more residents access to computers also improves digital inclusion and helps people to live more independent lives.

Digital inclusion is about making sure that everyone regardless of their background, their age or where they live, has access to IT and can use the internet.

Being online helps people feel more connected and 81%* of people in the UK over the age of 55 say that being online makes them feel part of modern society and less lonely.

Nowadays digital skills are helpful to find employment and carry out jobs, but in the UK 21%* of people still lack the skills they need to take advantage of the internet. Disabled people and older people are some of the most digitally excluded in the country.

In Gloucestershire the county council and Sopra Steria are already making a difference.

In Coleford in the Forest of Dean four computers have already been installed at the Sixteen Community Café, a social enterprise that provides employment for vulnerable people. The computers will be used by residents of the neighbouring care home and supported living complex Dora Matthews House, as well as other local people

A further seven community centres around the county are also set to benefit from high-quality refurbished computers this summer.

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, deputy leader of Gloucestershire County Council said, “We want everyone to feel included in the digital age. Right across the county we’re expanding the access people have to IT equipment and the internet, and helping residents to brush up on their IT skills too.”

Tracey Lee, head of local government at Sopra Steria said, “We’re proud to support this project which will help residents in Gloucestershire reap the social and economic benefits of the digital world.”

Amanda Zayan, manager at Sixteen Community Café said, “The computers will be great for training, they’re a valuable resource that will help empower people to learn and develop their IT skills.”

Cllr Paul McMahon, local county councillor for Coleford said, “The computers will bring more opportunities for local people, and another string to the bow at Sixteen Community Café which already gives some great training.”

Gloucestershire County Council and Sopra Steria will continue their work to get more computers into community cafes and drop in hubs this year.


Simultaneous use

With a slow internet connection you can have problems doing more than one thing at a time online. With faster broadband the whole family can be online doing homework, watching iPlayer, keeping in touch with friends on Skype or Facetime and doing the weekly shop all at the same time without any time delay or frozen screen.


Work from home

Working from home can now be as fast and effective as working from the office. This could save you time and money, as well as helping you to achieve a better work life balance. With faster broadband you could even consider setting up your own business from home as you would have the world class connectivity that could give you the edge.


Keep files in the cloud

Store photos, documents, music and videos online in the cloud rather than on the computer at home. Your files will be kept safe and you can access them anywhere. Fast upstream speeds mean backing up files is done in the blink of an eye.


Stream films & TV shows in seconds

With faster broadband you can download the latest blockbuster before the kettle has boiled or watch your favourite TV show online instantly.


Take an online learning course

With faster broadband you can study online with flexible hours and video tutorials that work immediately.


Maintain independence

New telecare services mean that people who are unwell, have a disability or older people can stay safe and independent at home.

Stream films & TV shows in seconds

Did you know that you can now access a whole host of council services and information online, such as reporting a pothole, paying your council tax, finding out when your rubbish or recycling will be collected and checking library opening times?

Visit: Do it online in Herefordshire Visit: Do it online in Gloucestershire

Home Stories

Pudleston in north Herefordshire is one of the communities that we be fibre enabled under phase 2 of the Fastershire rollout. Phase 2 will be delivered by Gigaclear and will provide a new full fibre network and access to speeds up to 1000mbps.

In these community diaries the residents of Pudleston will document their experiences throughout the deployment. 

To see if your property is included in phase 2 or if you can already access faster broadband, please use the address checker above.


Pudleston Community

In this piece, the community introduce their home, Pudleston, located in north Herefordshire and is one of the communities that we be fibre enabled under phase 2 of the Fastershire rollout delivered by Gigaclear.

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Internet Training

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Grant funding to help community organisations, groups and clubs in Herefordshire

Local community organisations, groups, clubs and other not-for-profit organisations in Herefordshire can apply for up to £2,500 funding to arrange internet support and training so that local people can make the most of the benefits of going online.

Click here for further information and an application form or email go-online@fastershire.com

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Free 'Introduction to the Internet' sessions for communities in Herefordshire

Do you know of a group or club in your community in Herefordshire who would like to find out more about using the internet and the benefits of going online? Fastershire can arrange for a tutor to bring laptops and tablets to the group’s usual meeting place, or another venue with internet access, to demonstrate how to send emails, search for information about the local area, or shop or pay bills online, and then support them to ‘have a go’ themselves. To find out more please email go-online@fastershire.com. These free sessions could lead to a longer course for those who are interested in developing their skills at going online.

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Online Training Resources

Learn My Way (www.learnmyway.com) is a website of free online courses for beginners, helping you to develop digital skills to make the most of the online world.  It's also got courses and resources to help you teach others basic computer skills - including a 'How to be a Digital Champion' course.  

We also have a whole host of training guides here that you can download for your own learning or to use when training someone else.

Computer Training in Herefordshire

There are many organisations across Herefordshire who regularly offer computer courses and support for beginners. Information about just some of the training currently offered available here.

If you would like to be contacted about beginners’ computer courses offered by organisations in Herefordshire please register here and we will send you details when they notify us that more have been arranged.

Details of beginners' computer courses offered by Adult Education in Gloucestershire are here.

Where to buy

Here's a list of home broadband providers who offer packages for homes connected by Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) or Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), with links to their web sites, so you can find out if they're up and running where you live.

Click here to view FTTP providers >

Fibre to the premises (FTTP) Providers

Fibre to the premises (FTTP) is one of the world's most cutting edge types of fibre broadband with blistering speeds of up to 330Mbps and 1000Mbps.

If you get enabled with FTTP, you can order it through one of the following Service Providers.

We'll update this page as more ISPs start to offer FTTP.

Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) Providers

Where to buy

Here's a list of home broadband providers who offer packages for homes connected by Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) or Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), with links to their web sites, so you can find out if they're up and running where you live.

Click here to view FTTP providers >

Gigaclear Providers

Faster Events

27 Mar 2018

Introduction to email (Ross On Wye Library)

Learn how to set-up an email account, send and receive emails and attachments. Laptops will be provided for the session


Location: Ross On Wye Library, 7 Cantilupe Road, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 7AN

Date: Tuesday 27th March 2018

Time: 17:00-19:00


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