New kit and training distrubuted by Scottish Government to help families get online

 Aileen Campbell, communities secretary

More than 23,000 iPads and Chromebooks are being distributed among digitally excluded low-income families and care leavers in Scotland, as part of the latest phase of the £43 million Connecting Scotland programme.

As well as a new device, recipients also receive mobile data and help to use the internet confidently and safely for up to two years.

Connecting Scotland works with local authorities, public bodies and third sector organisations to reach people across the country.

Aileen Campbell, communities secretary, said: “Access to the internet brings huge benefits, especially during these challenging times. It provides a way to keep in touch and keep us informed, and is also an important way for people of all ages to further their education, find work and training opportunities.

“That’s why in this year’s Programme for Government we further committed to our world-leading Connecting Scotland programme by pledging to reach a total of 50,000 digitally excluded or marginalized people by the end of 2021. The combination of a device plus ongoing support means that everyone can get the most out of their laptop or tablet, and develop their skills.

“So far more than 8,700 people have received this package, and the stories fed back to us from local organisations show the real difference it’s making to households across the country.”

The full-time carer of a child who received a laptop through the programme, added: “Thank you so much, the laptop is amazing. We downloaded Google Classroom and ‘Ruby’ did all her schoolwork. It was so fantastic to see her enjoy looking at a decent sized screen – it’s been a struggle to have Ruby do homework on an old mobile phone which is past its best. To be able to help her home school on a proper laptop is wonderful.”

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