COVID19 pandemic IT provision
Lockdown struck, we reacted…
Once the DDCA had setup a foodbank, our attention turned to supporting those without access to the internet.
We were successful in receiving £8,500 worth of funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise from which we purchased 25 iPads and 4g data allowance. We have been loaning the iPads out to residents and specifically the residents of Aigen Court sheltered housing. Of notable success is that we have helped facilitate a video call between a resident of Aigen court and their long lost relative in America.
A second fund became available called Connecting Scotland. They offered iPads, Chromebooks and Vodaphone MiFi units to those in the vulnerable and sheltering category during lockdown. The DDCA identified eligible candidates through our existing users and were successful in receiving 7 iPads, 3 Chromebooks and 8 MiFi units with free broadband for 12 months. The local residents now enjoying their new connectivity are able to keep the devices forever and we have been supporting them with their use.
We reapplied to the Connecting Scotland fund, which offered the same IT equipment but for children whom are suffering from deprivation or lack of connectivity. We have been successful in receiving a further 10 iPads to distribute to children and we are working with Mortlach Primary school to identify children whom would most benefit from a new iPad in time for Christmas.
That takes the total of free provision of IT equipment to be 14,500.
Free public wifi in Dufftown town centre
Internet access is a fundamental need in an increasingly digital world. Building on our work on IT provision during the COVID19 pandemic, we sought to find a more permanent solution that would benefit everyone in our community and beyond.
With funding from EDF Dorenell Community Benefit Fund, this project set out to provide free wifi provision in Dufftown town centre. In October 2023, using the Dufftown clocktower as the tallest building in town, we installed free public wifi covering the town centre.
To learn more about the project, read our evaluation report below.