Council open scheme to provide internet devices to residents in need

April 26, 2021

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has launched its ‘Connecting You’ device scheme to help residents that need access to the internet to connect with others, use online services or to continue their education.

Funded by the Department for Communities as part of its COVID-19 support, the scheme will provide 80 tablets and some temporary data bundles to local residents as part of its commitment to address digital exclusion across all seven District Electoral Areas at the same time working towards the council’s ambition of ensuring no one is left behind.

Due to an expected high demand, applications will be assessed against set criteria by a panel of statutory and community representatives.  

Alderman Michael Henderson MBE, Leisure & Community Development Committee Chairman, talking about the scheme, said: “We want to help residents across the council area have the opportunity to get support to connect with family and friends, shop online and access medical appointments or complete their educational studies. It is not a first-come, first served scheme.  We will assess the applications to ensure a fair distribution across the Lisburn Castlereagh area.

“As a council we want to play our part in tackling social isolation and digital poverty amongst those residents who meet the stipulated criteria which include: receipt of benefits, received a shielding letter during the coronavirus pandemic or are currently in full-time or further education. If you believe you could benefit from this scheme, please apply online or ask a friend or relative to do so on your behalf before 10th May.”

Devices and temporary data bundles will only be awarded to residents of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council that meet the eligibility criteria.

Councillor David Honeyford, Vice-Chair of the council’s Leisure & Community Development Committee added: “For those who are successful in receiving a device, support will be provided to get connected if needed. The SERC (South Eastern Regional College) team will offer this support and demonstrate how to use popular Apps and email.  I would like to thank our statutory partners in this scheme: Department for Communities, SERC, Libraries NI, NI Housing Executive and the Education Authority.  Together with our community partners we will ensure that the devices will go to the recipients most in need.”

To find out more about the scheme and to apply before 10th May please go to www.lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk/connectingyoudevicescheme