Homeless people in Cornwall will be given free laptops to help find work

Rough sleepers, homeless people and those without Internet access are being loaned free laptops and tablets in Cornwall, in a bid to help people find work and healthcare.

Cornwall Council is working with the homeless charity St. Petroc's to distribute the devices, which it says will help vulnerable people access vital services as they increasingly move online.

According to the BBC, the charity says it will provide training and support to its clients who borrow the devices.

Cornwall Council says that around a quarter of adults in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have "no access to the kind of connectivity many of us take for granted", and that they risk being excluded from the digital era. It estimates that around 19 percent of residents had never used the Internet.

"As training, healthcare, and other services are increasingly going online, it's vital they are not left behind," it told the BBC.

The council said it had trained six staff at the St. Petroc's charity to help clients use the technology.

Melissa Winstanley, an administrator at the charity, said: "A lot of our clients don't have access to IT. They want to be able to enhance their skills, which going forward will help them find suitable courses and progress into suitable work."

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Homelessness and housing insecurity is a growing issue in Cornwall.

This summer, hundreds of homeless people were reportedly 'turfed out' of BnBs, hotels, and temporary housing as landlords looked to rent out to tourists.

The county reportedly has 10,000 Airbnbs but, at one point this year, less than fifty homes available for tenants to rent.

An estate agent in Cornwall reportedly said that she has "never seen the demand as high and the supply so low" in seventeen years.

  • BBC
  • Homelessness

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