55up Technology Helpline - Digital Inclusion
Background to the Helpline
Within the Town Council's five-year strategic plan 2021 - 2024, is the objective:
No 27. Consider ways to support the increase in leisure opportunities for older people.
This objective focuses on Parish residents aged 55yrs and up.
A headline 'needs gap' identified by Leighton-Linslade Town Council when it carried out a community survey in 2020, was digital inclusion, or more accurately the current digital 'exclusion' of this age group.
Covid-19 has shown us that supporting older people to use technology is fundamental to reducing their loneliness and the negative effects of increased isolation. In addition, concern over housebound individuals (who cannot or prefer not to leave their home) points to the increased importance of digital devices to help create or maintain connections with others, vital to their wellbeing.
It is also recognised that many services are increasingly directing clients or customers to online communication and self-service portals.
The Town Council seeks to address the issue by investing funds into the development and delivery of a 'technology helpline', as well as through face-to-face support, that assists those aged 55 and up to have the ability, skills set and confidence, to use digital devices.
The development and delivery of this work will be outsourced and run as a pilot scheme for two years. Contract delivery performance, along with project evaluation will be of key interest for this pilot scheme to influence future delivery.
This Technology Helpline is one of several initiatives being carried out under the project banner '55up' to support Parish residents who are over 55 years old.
Overview of the 'Technology Helpline'
A telephone 'helpline' to support those 55 years and over's technology needs.
Details about each request for help will be obtained, and then directed to appropriate individuals in a pool of technology staff or volunteers, who (DBS checked) can then speak to the client directly to give them technology support, information and guidance.
Who will run the helpline?
The Town Council will commission this service to be run by an external organisation.
The Town Council will expect quarterly project review meetings and will commission an independent evaluation on completion of the 2-year pilot.
£34,500 is being made available to cover the full cost of this pilot scheme for the first 2 years.
The Town Council will carry out an independent evaluation of the pilot scheme towards the end of the 2 years. Should the project be successful, the Council will look to continue the project with a possible contact extension or new quotation opportunity.
For further information or to submit a quote contact Sarah Jewell, Cultural & Economic Services Support Officer at email@example.com
||Networking, Internet and intranet software package
||Communication and multimedia software package
||Repair, maintenance and associated services related to personal computers, office equipment, telecommunications and audio-visual equipment
||Computer support and consultancy services
||Adult and other education services