Digital exclusion is a growing problem for the homeless and vulnerable people with whom Thames Reach work. As information and services move online, these individuals are often prevented from accessing work, housing and jobs because they lack the skills and access that they need to use the internet effectively.
Thanks to the generous support of the WCIT Charity, Thames Reach is able to support more people to get online and to take advantage of the practical and social benefits of the internet. The i-Reach programme enables Thames Reach to increase wifi access at their accommodation projects and also to train volunteers to provide 1-2-1 IT support to individuals. This two-year programme will help 200 disadvantaged people to develop their skills, and support 40 of these in securing IT accreditations which will help them to return to work.
Maureen is an example of the people who will benefit from this project. She was been involved in the Digibuddies project that Thames Reach run for the local community in Lambeth. An older person who had never used a computer, she is now enthusiastic about the internet and the changes it has brought to her life by improving communication with her family and enabling her to make new friends through sharing her writing skills with a wider audience.