The Green Dragon in Market Lavington is launching a free-to-use digital hub on Monday 1st October at 10.30am – on the International Day of Older Persons – with support from rural pub champions, Pub is The Hub.
To mark the launch of the scheme, Helen Bradley from the Wordfest Charity and Cliff Evans, Chair of the Devizes Area Board Health & Wellbeing Group will each present a short talk about their work in adult literacy and digital skills support for Wiltshire residents.
Situated in the pub’s function room and skittle alley to the rear of the pub, the digital hub comprises a laptop computer, printer, big screen TV and three hand-held tablets with free WiFi connection. They are available for anyone who needs access to services like browsing the internet, printing documents or downloading a book or newspaper. All the pub’s food and drink facilities will be available as well.
Licensees behind the scheme, Steve and Nicky Wragg, have been running the Green Dragon for fifteen and a half years and had been keen to create a space for the rural community as well as providing a useful service. They contacted Pub is The Hub for advice and the regional advisor, Reg Clarke, has helped them to pull the scheme together with support from Wiltshire County Council. In addition, Pub is The Hub has supported the scheme with a small grant from their own Community Services Fund.
Nicky explained: “The age profile of Market Lavington is of an older population and we want to help some of the local resident to get online and improve their digital skills. This new service is for those who want to book their health appointments online, speak to their family on Skype or even just print out airline tickets. The equipment is accessible as long as the pub is open, from 9am to 11pm every day, and we can be around to support anyone who wishes to use it. The idea is that we will also set up some training courses and will subscribe to online libraries and newspapers if the demand is there.
“We would not have been able to pull this together if it hadn’t been for the support of Pub is The Hub and their grant.”
Reg Clarke from Pub is The Hub added: “As more useful and essential services go online it is becoming ever more important to help everyone, of any age, with their digital skills. In a rural area where older or more vulnerable people can become isolated and lonely this sort of scheme brings them into a social environment that is warm, welcoming and open seven days a week. I wish Steve and Nicky well for this inspirational idea.”