The Digital Kent team are delivering a number of projects to improve digital inclusion and capabilities across the county. Some projects are being delivered directly, with some in partnership with other organisations and others being funded by Digital Kent.
Below are a list of the current projects and schemes that we are developing and delivering utilising the one-off and time-limited funding.
The Community Wi-Fi project is being delivered by the Digital Kent team in partnership with Kent Public Services Network (KPSN).
We are currently working with our borough and district partners to identify the geographical areas to introduce the Community Wi-Fi, based on strong evidence.
The COVID-19 Hardware Access Scheme has been established to supply individuals that meet the criteria with access to digital equipment (initially laptops). The COVID-19 Hardware Access Scheme will 'gift' the device to the intended beneficiary, with no requirements to return the device.
We are developing a network of digital champion volunteers from organisations, businesses and the community to support our ambition to charge up the digital skills of our communities across Kent. The Digital Champions Network is supported by our Engagement & Skills team.
The Engagement & Skills is delivering 12-months of intensive and localised digital inclusion and capability support for Kent residents and businesses, particularly those that are or at-risk of digital or social exclusion.
The project is supported by six Engagement Officers and a Engagement & Skills Manager. Each Engagement Officer are supporting two district areas each.
We are developing a Hardware Recycling Scheme for residents and businesses to securely dispose of digital hardware, including laptops, tablets and computers. The scheme will enable you to recycle your device, which will then be securely wiped with a certificate being provided back to you to confirm. The device then will be recycled, for example remanufactured, and we will then be able to provide devices to those most in need.
Watch this space as we update you on the development of this project.
In our aim to bring everyone closer to the digital world, we are developing hubs within the community that will enable people to visit and get connected to digital services, with support from volunteer digital champions. In addition, we have an aspiration to create 'digital gateways' in our hubs.
Kent County Council and Medway Council are piloting a two-year digital loan scheme. The scheme is working with health visiting, maternity, substance misuse services in Kent, social prescribing in Kent, One You Kent and Involve Kent.
The Social Connectivity project is working with borough and district councils and housing associations to make sure Kent social housing and flats are connected to gigabit fibre broadband infrastructure and do not miss out due to challenges around legal agreements and communications between organisations.
The project is currently in the pilot stage, working with district councils and housing associations in Kent and Medway to formulate a toolkit, which can be adopted.