Category Archives: family

Digitally excluded: The 90,000 Norfolk households not going online

Dan Grimmer

Older people can lack the confidence to go online, according to Norfolk County Council research.

More than 90,000 homes in Norfolk have no or very limited access to the internet, either because of lack of connections, not being able to afford it or not having the confidence to use it.

Research has shown that almost a quarter of the county’s homes are defined as “digitally excluded”.

A similar study in London showed just 15pc of households there were unable or unlikely to use the internet.

The Norfolk County Council research showed homes where people were unlikely, or unable, to use the internet included “significant” numbers of older people, families on low incomes and those living in social housing.

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Respite cuts leave parents of disabled children across Norfolk ‘in tears’

Parents of youngsters with profound disabilities are protesting against changes in the way residential short breaks are allocated, which they say have taken away a “lifeline” and left some of them with 50pc fewer respite hours or, in some cases, no residential respite at all.

Sarah Dewhurst with 14-year-old Alice, who has profound and multiple disabilities. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

In March of this year, council chiefs announced changes affecting up to 1,000 Norfolk youngsters.

These meant that the £1.7m budget for disabled children would need to be used for more children, with each family allocated cash to pay for activities according to a point-scoring system.

But, while the council said these changes would not affect residential short breaks, parents claim they have been left “devastated” by the drastic cuts in the number of hours respite they have been allocated.

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‘I book home care for my mum online’

Louisa and her mum, Peggy, book home care using an online service

Louisa Bravery’s mum, Peggy, lives in the family home and loves everyday life with her grandchildren.

But she needs a little personal care when other members of the family are out at school or work.

Louisa wasn’t sure where to turn to organise things but discovered she could book her mother’s care using an online service.

That makes it easy to plan care flexibly depending on when Peggy might be alone at home.

“I just log in via the internet using my phone and just select the number of hours and the day and the time I want the carer to come. It’s really quick and also the payment’s all done online,” Louisa says.

The service is provided by CERA, the brainchild of Dr Ben Maruthappu, who formerly had a senior policymaking role at NHS England.

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