Wiltshire pub supports community well-being with launch of free digital hub

By Nick Batten on 2 October, 2018

The Green Dragon in Market Lavington has launched a free-to-use digital hub this week with support from rural pub champions, Pub is The Hub.

To mark the launch of the scheme, Helen Bradley and Ruth Hill from the Calne Word Fest Charity presented a short talk about their work in adult literacy and digital skills support for Wiltshire residents.

Situated in the pub’s function room 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.

Licensees behind the scheme, Steve and Nicky Wragg, have been running the Wadworth’s tenancy 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 residents to get online and improve their digital skills. The equipment is accessible as long as the pub is open, from 9 am to 11 pm 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.”

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.”

Pictured above: Steve and Nicky Wragg (left and centre) with Reg Clarke from Pub is The Hub (right)