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Gloucestershire Business News

£200,000 offered to fund digital community projects

Through its Digital Innovation Fund Gloucestershire County Council has £200,000 worth of grants available to community or voluntary groups and charity organisations to fund digital and technology-led initiatives.

This is the second year of the fund and applications of up to £20,000 per project will be accepted from Monday 12 July. Collaborative partnership bids will be considered for combined funding but would need to clearly demonstrate the added benefit of the collaboration.

The funding panel is particularly keen to hear about projects that could continue this support, address digital exclusion and help people remain independent.

Successful applications would be likely to demonstrate how their use of technology or digital methods will support adults in Gloucestershire by:

• Improving literacy, including digital literacy

• Preventing a decline in independence, health or wellbeing

• Encouraging digital access opportunities amongst BAME communities

• Providing equipment and support to those with disabilities and sensory impairments

Councillor Carole Allaway-Martin, cabinet member for adult social care commissioning, said, "The use of technology and digital literacy are important ways to ensure people across Gloucestershire can remain independent.

"The Digital Innovation Fund plays an important role in funding projects that help improve the health and wellbeing of adults through access to technology.

"We welcome applications for innovative ideas to help support adults across the county."

Funding in 2020 helped projects that tackled social isolation, helping people maintain independence and improving personal wellbeing.

Some other projects funded supported teaching residents digital skills to help them use video platforms to keep in touch with family during the pandemic. Others used the funding to purchase health and exercise monitoring devices to support virtual fitness and wellbeing classes.

Councillor Kathy Williams, cabinet member for adult social care delivery, said, "Our Digital Innovation Fund was able to support people across Gloucestershire to remain connected to loved ones throughout the pandemic.

"I am proud that the projects supported by the fund were able to allow individuals to remain independent and improve people's wellbeing."

Members of the council's Adult Transformation Team will be attending Know Your Patch meetings and sharing information about the funding through this network. The Know Your Patch network is a multi-sector network bringing together the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector and public body organisations for effective partnership working across each district of Gloucestershire.

Further information on this grant, including access to application forms, can be found here.

The closing date for applications is on Friday 6 August, with successful applicants receiving grant funding in September.

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