New digital and health support service to open next week
PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 September 2017
Number 65 in Nailsea is opening on Monday to equip people with digital skills and provide support for a wide range of health conditions.
The new scheme will enable people to learn more about using the internet and apps to access support and keep in touch with friends and family.
People will also be able to get advice on a range of issues including care, benefits and long-term health conditions and take part in exercise classes, art therapy and support groups.
The Nailsea Place initiative was set up by Nailsea Town Council and has been chosen as a flagship for NHS Digital’s Pathfinder project.
The aim of the project is to increase people’s digital skills to reduce social isolation and prevent unnecessary use of the NHS.
Number 65 will open for the first time on Monday to coincide with Get Online Week and people will be able to use the tablets on offer in the High Street base.
Nailsea Town Council clerk Ian Morrell said: “The fundamental principle is that if people improve their digital skills this is likely to benefit their health and wellbeing.
“This may range from being better able to access knowledge, to ordering repeat prescriptions to being able to use skype/facetime to contact family and friends.
“This concept is also closely linked to the idea of ‘social prescribing’, which GPs are increasingly using to offer non-medical options to patients.”
There are currently only two projects running in England, but the aim is to grow that to 20 over the next three years.
Number 65 will be open from 9.30am until noon from Monday to Friday and volunteers will be available to help people to get to grips with the technology.
Nailsea Town Council is being supported by the Good Things Foundation – a digital charity which supports people to improve their digital skills to overcome social challenges.
Helen Milner, chief executive of the charity which is behind Get Online Week, said: “Millions of people are still missing out on
the huge benefits the internet can offer.
“Campaigns like Get Online Week are a great way for us not only to raise awareness of digital exclusion, still a massive problem even in 2017, but also to reach new people still nervous about doing more online.”