Without digital skills, it can be almost impossible to reach the support and services many of us use on a daily basis. From cheaper utility bills to advice on healthcare, the Internet can be an amazing resource – but for many people, it can be a scary place.
In 2013 we championed social enterprise Cosmic for their work delivering digital skills across the southwest, awarding them the BT Get IT Together Award. Working tirelessly for over 20 years, Cosmic has supported hundreds of people in getting online, and since winning the Award they’ve reached even more:
“Since winning a Tech4Good Award, Cosmic has continued to go from strength-to-strength. In 2014 we partnered with Age UK to deliver countywide digital inclusion project, Devon Digital Inclusion Project. Supporting those who were rurally and socially isolated or disadvantaged, where the use of technology could make a real difference to their lives, we trained over 750 people from all walks of life, and the project won the Express and Echo Business Award for Corporate Social Responsibility.”
And it doesn’t end there. Cosmic have been developing their Devon Digital Inclusion Project to support farmers in accessing services only available online, and funded by The Prince’s Countryside Fund they’ve mentored over 40 local farmers, giving them the support they need to improve vital digital skills.
Another example of Cosmic’s community projects include working with carers and patients with dementia:
“We recognised a strong need for digital inclusion amongst carers and patients, particularly those suffering from dementia. By communicating with friends and family through the use of an iPad, dementia sufferers and their carers could bring to life memories and stories, often with emotional and heartfelt results and feedback. We’ve also worked with the Honiton Dementia Action Alliance, supporting them to use social media and their new website to spread advice and awareness.”
Winning an Award boosted Cosmic’s public profile, giving them the opportunity to reach even more service users. Here’s why you should enter in 2016:
“We would advise organisations to enter – it was great for us to be recognised nationally for the digital inclusion work we do. If you are doing great work, shout about it and spread the word – since winning in 2013 our CEO has gone onto win Social Enterprise UK Award for Best Woman in Social Enterprise, and a Venus Devon Award as Director of the Year.”
Entry for AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards is open until Friday 6th May 2016. If you want a friendly reminder as we approach the deadline, sign up to our newsletter and we’ll make sure you don’t forget.