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According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2016, 4.8 million adults in the UK had never used the internet, including 22% of disabled adults.

With Universal Credit being rolled out across a number of our operating areas including Lichfield, it’s so important that as many people as possible get online as this is the only way to make and manage claims. With this in mind, Gemma, neighbourhood coach in Staffordshire, has teamed up with Burntwood Town Council to make use of their recently upgraded IT suite.

Gemma said: “With nine computers, the Old Mining College in Chasetown is the ideal venue to help customers who struggle with the internet to get online. It’s great to be able to offer those who need it this chance to learn new skills that they will be able to use in all aspects of their lives.”

“The first session took place on 7 December and, with a total of ten weekly sessions planned for Thursday afternoons, we’re hoping that plenty of our customers will make the most of the opportunity to get online…who knows where their new found skills could take them?

“The first few weeks have seen customers using this facility to apply for Universal Credit. They’ve also set up their own Bromford accounts, reported their own repairs and some have even increased their rent payments so that they can build up some credit in preparation for the introduction of the new benefit. 

“The Citizens Advice Bureau visited a session recently to offer advice and we’re hoping that the DWP and local Job Centres will come along over the coming weeks to further help the community make the most of all the help and advice available.”

Building resilience, helping people learn new skills, and giving them the confidence to make the choices that are right for them are all key to helping customers achieve what they want out of life whilst creating long-term sustainable communities that fix things for themselves.

This partnership is a great example of how our neighbourhood coaches’ knowledge of their local area is crucial to spotting what’s already there and taking the opportunities to link in with other organisations that offer real value to our customers and enable them to do more things for themselves.


For more information about Universal Credit, take a look at this online leaflet that tells you all you need to know about getting yourself prepared. Our neighbourhood coaches, money advisors and skills coaches are also on-hand to coach you through the changes, help you manage your money and prepare you to get back into work. If you don’t know who your coach is, you can find them by using a simple search. Click here to find you neighbourhood coach.

Hi there, I'm one of the writers and content creators at Bromford...It's all about storytelling and social media for me.  

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