Digital Kent

Kent County Council

Unlocking digital barriers to keep Kent residents safe and warm

Our project at a glance 

  • Strategic priority area: Targeting geographic communities most at risk of fuel poverty 
  • Support target: 5,000 households over one year 
  • Duration: January – December 2024 
  • Investment: £61,015 over one year 
  • Forecast SROI: £4.66 

The Digital Kent service is like someone threw me a lifesaver.


Digital Kent service user

Why we’re working together 

Digital technology evolved rapidly during Covid-19. While the pandemic forced many organisations to move their services and information online, this new digital way of operating has continued now the pandemic is behind us.  

Many communities, such older people and those living in rural and deprived areas, have been unable to keep up with such rapid digital changes. These groups are also often most at risk of living in fuel poverty or experiencing financial hardship following the pandemic.  

In 2021, Kent County Council launched its Digital Kent initiative to improve digital inclusion in the county. It set out to ensure its most vulnerable residents have the skills, technology and confidence to access online services.  

We’ve joined the initiative to build capacity and skills in the service to provide energy safeguarding support for vulnerable households at risk of fuel poverty. Our new partnership with Kent County Council builds capacity and skills in the existing service to support vulnerable Kent residents to access the services, tools and information to help them heat their homes safely, affordably and efficiently.  

Project objectives 

  • Providing 5,000 Kent residents with advice and support to access digital tools and energy-related services  
  • Enabling residents to access digital services by providing devices and connectivity 
  • Training the Digital Kent team to educate households on carbon monoxide safety  
  • Providing holistic support by referring eligible households to other council and external support schemes 

How we’re working together 

Improving digital literacy  

By working with residents to improve their digital literacy, we’re providing them with greater access to energy safeguarding services. Through one-to-one sessions and group workshops, we’re demonstrating how online tools can be used to compare energy prices and highlighting useful websites with information about energy support services. We’re also able to refer households to a dedicated energy advice service if they would like more information on improving their home energy efficiency.  

PSR registration 

We’re helping eligible residents to sign up for the Priority Services Register online. This free service helps us – as well as electricity network and water companies – better support our vulnerable customers through our day-to-day services and in an emergency. By demonstrating how to sign up via the online registration form, we also hope to build residents’ skills and confidence in accessing other digital services.   

Carbon monoxide awareness 

Through our training partner Gas Safe Charity, we’re providing training for the Digital Kent team on how to raise awareness of carbon monoxide safety. We’re also offering households a carbon monoxide alarm if they don’t have one.  

Energy crisis support 

When we encounter a household in energy crisis, we’ll provide fuel vouchers for immediate help. We’ll also refer the household for further support from government and voluntary organisations through Kent County Council’s existing referral system.

Media library image
A group of Digital Kent service users sitting round a table with IT equipment in the middle of it

How to get involved 

Accessing the Digital Kent service 

As one of our VCMA network partners, you can refer your clients to the Digital Kent project through the programme website.

If you live in Kent and think you may benefit from this service, you can find out more and refer yourself through the Digital Kent website. Alternatively, you can contact a member of the Digital Kent team by calling 03000 410 950.   

Becoming a partner 

You can find out more about Digital Kent on the programme’s website.  

Digital Kent is committed to tackling digital exclusion by empowering individuals with the access, skills, and confidence to use digital tools. Through this collaborative partnership, we're addressing the broader consequences of digital exclusion and steering residents out of fuel poverty towards sustainable solutions. Although in the early stages of delivery, the project has seen great benefits for residents, and we are looking forward to continuing this impactful and holistic approach with SGN and other partners.

Samuel Lawrence-Rose

Digital Lead, Kent County Council