Published On: 19th March 2024

The Access Foundation awards £25,000 to fund ‘Digital Support Café’ in Coventry

The Access Foundation has awarded £25,000 to fund the establishment of a ‘Digital Support Café’ in Coventry to drive employability and digital skills in the area.

The grant awarded to Think SMART CIC will enable the local community to obtain digital access, gain support from members of staff, and take part in courses to learn fundamental digital skills.

According to recent job search statistics 80% of all job searches are done online, and more than 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn to search for candidates to fill company job openings, with 50 million companies with a presence on the platform*. These statistics show how essential basic digital skills are when it comes to finding employment.

This charity focuses their attention on people who are unemployed, isolated, disadvantaged, lonely, or lacking the necessary skills and confidence to achieve their goals. Think SMART CIC recognise that a lack of digital skills and digital access can have a huge negative impact on an individual’s personal life - leading to poorer health, and increased loneliness, as well as less access to jobs and education.

To help address the issues on a local level the organisation provides a friendly and professional service and offers linguistics and digital courses with the aim of providing employment, promotion or self-employment. The support at the Café will range from how to fill out forms and change energy providers to reduce cost-of-living, find jobs as well as access healthcare and housing.

Think SMART CIC has been delivering digital learning courses to mitigate the digital divide since 2019. Now, thanks to the new addition of the Digital Support Café, even more people will have access to digital support in a welcoming environment that will give people the opportunity to make favourable changes to their life.

Piers McLeish, Trustee of the Access Foundation, commented:

“The Foundation is proud to be making a difference to the Coventry community with Think SMART CIC. Sadly, due to the cost, accessibility and skills required to make the most of today’s technology, the digital divide can have troubling effects on those that are denied the benefits of the online world. We are looking forward to the positive effects this Café will have on the community as it creates meaningful impact in the lives of the digitally disadvantaged.”

A spokesperson from Think SMART Education and Training commented “It’s never too late to learn!”