Forty-six voluntary and community groups across Essex are to receive free devices, in a programme costing over £175,000.
Over 1,152 Samsung Galaxy devices will be distributed to successful organisations following an invitation to bid. The devices may be used for connecting older people, people with disabilities, people with physical or sensory needs and improving mental health.
They will also be used to help address digital exclusion - where pockets of the population lack access to information and technology.
Successful organisations include Hearing Help Essex who have received the 30 devices that they bid for (worth £4,500). These will be used by their volunteers to support their service users in the community. Most of their volunteers work alone, delivering community sessions, home visits and care home visits. The tablets will help them to collect and log data and conduct service users’ satisfaction questionnaires. They will also provide volunteers with a connection to the office team.
"We are thrilled and very grateful to receive the tablets. As a small charity it will take us one step closer to our mission to improve and promote digital inclusion," said Todorina Hammond, Interim CEO of Hearing Help.
Councillor John Spence, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health said: "It is an absolute pleasure to hear about all the innovative ways that groups will use technology to the benefit of people in their communities. I am delighted to see the devices being put to such a variety of great uses."
James is the Editor of Government Transformation magazine, and has been covering digital government and public sector reform for 20 years. He also oversees the development of the UK's biggest network of public sector transformation conferences.