Vale of Clwyd Mind

Digital Communities

Vale of Clwyd Mind

Vale of Clwyd Mind (VOCM) is an affiliation of National Mind. Established in 1979, the organisation has worked with and supported numerous individuals experiencing mental distress in the community. VOCM offers a wide range of support including the provision of housing, social opportunities, employment, rural outreach and training projects.

VOCM has developed an excellent reputation in North Wales as a “user informed” provider of services. It has a history of successful partnership working with the voluntary sector, private companies and the statutory organisations in order to provide services in the most effective and efficient way.

VOCM has a number of support and social groups in and around the Denbighshire area, offering a wide range of activities for those who wish to get involved, from playing musical instruments to learning how to set up your own Facebook page, how to get online to find work or to improve social and economic outcomes, or just the chance to have a cup of tea and a chat with a friendly face.
The DCW Advisor has worked with Cassie who leads on ICT within the organisation. In addition to attending a Digital Champions training course, Cassie has received information on the full range of support available through DCW which includes additional training for staff and especially volunteers.

As a result of the DCW intervention, Cassie and another member of staff have booked places on another, “accredited” DCW training course, later in the year.

Cassie has explained that they are also looking to train other frontline staff as well as some service users who they anticipate will become digital volunteers, assisting other users with digital inclusion. It is hoped that the induction and training of service users will have a huge effect on their personal development and support.

Cassie said: “VOCM will offer digital inclusion training in their support and day centres, encouraging users to go online to improve social, economic and health benefits. Digital champions will also assist on “Doris”, a converted van used to travel between communities in the county, supporting the public with mental health issues, offering a listening ear and signposting on wherever possible.”

VOCM staff and volunteers will be able to support service users with the varying difficulties they come across in relation to their use of digital technology as well as offering them a better understanding of the same. It has a basic computer class on offer at the present time and Cassie is hoping to roll out a more skilled class once volunteers and staff members have had the relevant training. This will enable service users to lead a more independent life and be confident about their skills and safe in the knowledge that they can overcome any fears that they might have in a safe and secure surrounding.

Cassie said: “The impact on the organisation will further our services for those we see on very limited occasions as by teaching and supporting them in relation to digital inclusion, we can then offer support and/or services online and reach a much wider audience.”

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