The successful ‘Connecting You’ device scheme is open again for applications to help Lisburn and Castlereagh residents who are deemed eligible to secure a free device. It will allow them to access the internet to connect with others, use online services or continue their education.
We have funded the provision of 100 tablets for its residents. This is part of its commitment to reduce isolation, enhance local community provision and address digital exclusion across all seven District Electoral Areas.
Due to an expected high demand, applications will be assessed against set criteria by a panel of statutory and community representatives. It is not a first-come, first-served scheme.
Councillor Thomas Beckett, Communities and Wellbeing Chairman talking about the scheme, said: “It is important to us that residents across the council area get support to feel more connected. This may be with family and friends, attend online medical appointments or shop online. Some may need support to complete their educational studies.
“To help tackle social isolation and digital poverty amongst those residents as part of the application process they must meet the stipulated criteria which include receipt of benefit or are currently in full-time or further education. If you believe you are eligible and could benefit from this scheme, please apply online or ask a friend or relative to do so on your behalf by 5pm on 31st January 2024.
“We will assess the applications and aim to ensure a fair distribution across the Lisburn and Castlereagh area. 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.”
Devices will only be awarded to residents of our area that meet the eligibility criteria.
Councillor Beckett added: “I would like to thank our statutory partners in this scheme: SERC, Libraries NI, the Belfast and South Eastern health trusts, NI Housing Executive and the Education Authority. Together we will ensure the devices go to the residents most in need.”