Digital volunteering scheme appeals for Welsh speakers

A ‘buddy’ scheme to give those who need help with their digital devices is looking for Welsh speakers.

Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council, Digital Communities Wales and Denbighshire County Council teamed up earlier this year to launch Denbighshire Digital Buddies to support those who need help with their devices.

Now Welsh speakers are being asked to come forward and act as ‘digital buddies’ to provide support over the phone.

The pandemic has highlighted how digital inclusion is fundamental and without technology it would be extremely difficult to stay connected with family, friends and loved ones.

There are people who are still not as confident in using tablets and smartphones, and the scheme aims to reach those that feel left behind and help them acquire digital skills.

Gareth Jones, of Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council, said: “Communities across Wales and especially in Denbighshire have come together during this pandemic, and our digital buddies scheme has tapped into that positive energy within our communities to support each other but we would like to get more Welsh speakers on board.”

Cllr Bobby Feeley, Denbighshire County Council’s Lead member for Well-being and Independence, said: “This pandemic has brought to light the need for digital assistance more than ever.

“Supporting this scheme is a priority for the Council and it supports our Corporate Plan priority to create resilient and well-connected communities so our residents can access goods and services online.

“We are encouraging Welsh speakers to come forward and volunteer as part of the scheme and help those who need a little extra support developing digital skills.”

Deian ap Rhisiart, of Digital Communities Wales, said: “We have been working in the field of digital inclusion for nearly a decade across Wales, and this is a timely response to tackle the digital skills gap. People need to be able to stay connected, to be able to use digital services, sustain their mental health in lockdown, and technology is an integral part of the solution. As Dyffryn Clwyd is one of the strongholds of the Welsh language, we are appealing for Welsh speaking digital buddies to help in their ‘bro’.”

Volunteer Keith Jones said: “There is a danger of some people in society being left behind. This has become more evident during the pandemic. I would like to use my skillset to assist.”

If you have or know of a relative or friend that needs digital help and requires help how to use it, the scheme would like to hear from you.

If you speak Welsh and would like to become a digital buddy and help in your community, please get in touch.

Please contact Rhys Hughes on 01824 702441 for further information or e-mail [email protected]