Somerset business shortlisted for digital award

The Spark iT Digital Inclusion Project supports Somerset residents to get online. The project, hosted by charity, Spark Somerset, works to provide free support to Somerset residents who want to get online, but face barriers due to a lack of skill, confidence, device or connection.

Now the team have been shortlisted for the national Digital Inclusion Award category by Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) UK.

The Spark iT team includes a network of volunteer Digital Champions. These are people who are both interested in
technology and enjoy helping their community. Without them the project couldn’t operate.

The project has expanded the number of one-to-one visits, their telephone helpdesk and loan scheme in the past year. They now support twenty regular digital events across the county. By January 2024, 95% of Somerset residents will have free digital support within 5 miles of their home.

Speaking about her experience, Sally, who attends the Digital Café at the Hub in Bridgwater, said: “It has reduced a lot of the stress I felt when using devices. I’ve recently been working on building my confidence with online shopping as I noticed that I was missing out on the best deals. With the cost-of-living crisis, it’s been really helpful for me to find new ways to save money.”

Spark Somerset are one of only four finalists shortlisted for the Award which will be announced at the ISPA Awards in London on Thursday 9 November.

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