More than 100 people have been supported to access online services and develop their digital skills thanks to a new centre that has opened at Walsall Manor Hospital.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust was the latest local organisation to partner with Walsall Connected to provide face-to-face support to residents who need help to access council services online.
Walsall Connected is a partnership between Walsall Council, local community associations, libraries and partner organisations. In total, there are now 28 Walsall Connected sites across the borough, conveniently located in the heart of local communities.
Trained staff and volunteers are on hand to assist people and teach valuable digital skills. As well as offering support to residents to access online council services, Walsall Connected Centres give residents the opportunity to learn transferable digital skills such as using email and web browsing.
The new centre launched last month and is set up outside the Antenatal Clinic in the hospital.
From its opening, up until 6 August, volunteers have seen 116 people and these range from 16 year-olds to those who are 65 plus. Of the residents seen, 94 now feel confident to use online services independently, without support and 27 visitors were registered disabled.
Garry Perry, Associate Director – Patient Relations & Experience, at Walsall Healthcare, said: “These are encouraging figures from just under a month’s run for Walsall Connected.
“All of us involved in the project were passionate believers that a hospital location would be a good spot and these early figures are reflecting that. It has been really satisfying to have been able to offer such a service that has supported people to become much more confident in our digital world. Visitors have been able to upskill using their own devices, computers or iPads and the hub has also been able to give out information and make referrals into services.
“As word spreads about what a good resource it is, we’re confident that these figures will keep growing.”
For more information about Walsall Connected, please visit: www.walsall.gov.uk/people_and_communities/walsall_connected