Telford and Wrekin expand iPad lending scheme

Newport residents will be able to access the use of iPads after the council expanded a lending library scheme. 

Telford and Wrekin Council have expanded the free iPad lending scheme to Newport Library after a successful trial in Southwater which saw over 50 people borrow a device.

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Cllr Rae Evans, the Cabinet Member for Finance, Governance and Customer Services, said: ‘With more and more of the services we all use moving online, it’s vital that people aren’t excluded from accessing them just because they haven’t got a digital device.’ 

She continued: ‘This means that, so long as you have a Telford and Wrekin library card, you can borrow an iPad for up to four weeks from Newport or Southwater libraries. 

‘Whether it’s for study, shopping or looking for a new job, they’re completely free to use and include data too, so you don’t even need Wi-Fi.’ 

The scheme is part of the council’s £326,000 of funding towards digital inclusion in the area and will be expanded to other libraries in the future according to Ms Evans, only people over the age of 18 are able to access the iPads. 

Digital inclusion schemes offered by the council have included ‘Get Connected’ training courses to teach over 65s digital skills training. 

The library lending scheme and digital skills training is part of the council’s £28m ‘On Your Side’ investment to help more residents of the borough to access the internet and fight digital exclusion. 

There is also a Digital Directory which allows locals to find out information on access to digital devices, support and training including where to find free WiFi in the Telford area. The directory can be accessed through the LiveWell Telford website here. 

Telford and Wrekin aren’t alone in offering digital devices to members of the community as Birmingham recently opened up a second round of applications for community groups and charities to benefit from refurbished devices.

Photo by Arthur Lambillotte


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