The money by The Big Lottery Fund will enable them to launch the 'Connected, Confident and Included Inverclyde' group to help hundreds of older people with disabilities throughout the Scottish district.
The launch of a new service to support people is intended to help people stay in their homes for longer while remaining in touch with friends and the wider community.
The “Connected, Confident and Included Inverclyde” project will help older people improve their ICT skills, providing training to keep them in contact through emails and other social media.
There will also be a service to help with the weekly shop and regular social events to bring people together to make new friendships. An outreach service will be set up to help those who are housebound access all the services on offer.
Jim MacLeod, chairperson for Inverclyde Council on Disability, said:
We are absolutely delighted with this award from the Big Lottery Fund. This will enable us to start up new services which will also help us to reach out to even more disabled people and their families in Inverclyde and will also help us to continue with some existing services as well.
Grace, aged eighty-one, will benefit from the lottery grant. She's been using the service for nine years and has completed a variety of digital learning – covering courses in basic computing, digital photography, and e-mail and internet safety. She now has her own laptop.
She also makes use of their shop mobility powered wheelchairs, and takes part in social activities, events and outings.
I've had polio since I was six years old and it's got much worse in the last ten years and I can only walk for really short distances now.
The online learning has been brilliant. I do a lot of crafts and make my own cards. I can now use the computer to do lots of things like print off verses and look up craft websites for inspiration. I use e-mail to keep in touch with my family and knowing how to use the internet has opened up lots of new things to me – like keeping in touch with my nieces and nephews who don't live near me. It's great as I can keep up with the latest news on lots of different sites and I have even been on Twitter to find out what's going on there.
Without Inverclyde Council on Disability I would be in the house for a lot of the time and not able to go out. It's absolutely great the service is there and I am able to use it. Since I have not been able to walk it's been a lifeline to me.
Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, said:
I am delighted to announce this latest round of grants from our Investing in Communities portfolio. Inverclyde Council on Disability will be able to continue supporting older people with disabilities to help them retain their independence, while remaining part of the community, making new friends and rekindling old friendships.
This project works at the heart of the community helping older people to retain their place in society with something valuable to contribute. This is an excellent example of the type of project we want to fund and it’s good to know that this money will enhance and expand the vital services they provide.