Freemasons support digital training for disabled people in Kent

Kent based disability charity Compaid has been awarded a three year grant by the East Kent Freemasons to train disabled adults in computer skills.

The training will be delivered by a team of volunteers and staff at Compaid’s dedicated centre in Paddock Wood in Kent, as well as by a further team of Outreach trainers supporting people in their own homes and in day centres across the county.

The grant, totalling £45,000 over three years, will pay for two staff posts within the Training service, supporting over 250 learners to gain skills in a variety of topics, such as use of social media, internet shopping, online safety and digital design.

Digital exclusion remains a key barrier for disabled people. Almost 50 per cent of disabled people do not use the internet regularly and 27 per cent never use it at all. This equates to more than 32,000 people in Kent.

The grant from East Kent Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends from across England and Wales.

Stephen Elsden, Chief Executive at Compaid, said: “We’re very grateful to East Kent Freemasons for their generous grant which will help hundreds more disabled people to realise their dreams and aspirations by gaining skills and confidence with computers.”

Mark Bassant from East Kent Freemasons said: “We’re very pleased to be able to help Compaid who do outstanding work helping some of the most vulnerable people in our community get online, with all the opportunities the internet offers.”