Natalie is an Outreach Gateway Assessor with Citizens Advice. She’s also a digital champion with Digital Gwynedd and is keen to help people who need help with benefits advice or using the Internet. One of Natalie’s clients is Gwennan, a single mother of a disabled child, who came in to see Natalie in the mobile Citizens Advice Bureau unit.
Gwennan had already applied for Disability Living Allowance for her child with Natalie and had been awarded High Rate Care. Natalie agreed to help her with a benefit check to see if she was entitled to any further benefits. Gwennan was in receipt of Income Support because her child was under 5 years old, and she was also receiving Housing Benefit and Council Tax reduction. After Natalie completed a benefits check for her, she found that Gwennan could also claim Carers Allowance for looking after her child, increasing her benefits allowance.
To claim carers allowance Gwennan needed to make a claim online, but she was unsure how to use the system to do this. Natalie showed her how to go online and how to make the claim which she successfully did. Gwennan was already using Facebook, but had not used the internet before to buy things, check and compare prices on websites or apply for benefits. Having Natalie show her how to do these things has made a big difference.
One Digital is a UK wide partnership which promotes the use of Digital Champions to support people to learn digital skills. For organisations interested in setting up their own digital inclusion project we have developed a free Toolkit, containing a range of useful information and resources.