Digital connections are ever more important in our lives, regardless of who we are or where we live. Across West Wales this February we are dedicated to supporting our communities to reach out and connect – though creating connections for all.

The past two years have taught us all the importance of being able to navigate the world wide web and terms like ‘digital inclusivity’ and being ‘on-line’ are included in our everyday conversations. One of the amazing aspects on being digitally connected is our ability to reach out to the wider world and feel less isolated and lonely as our friendship groups can spread across borders, seas, and date lines.

#WEBruary is supported by a wide range of ‘digital connectors’ who would like to offer you the opportunity to get involved. You will need a way to get on-line so please consider speaking to your libraries, community halls and local groups alongside using your own equipment.

Nia, Kate, and Jamie are the regional link workers who have been working closely together since 2020 to support community groups, charity groups and the residents of West Wales. As community development officers for PAVS, CAVO and CAVS (respectively) they have found themselves submerged in the mechanisms of support needed to keep the county going through the many stages of the Pandemic – by signposting to foodbanks, linking with local networks who could pick up shopping and medication for people, supporting those networks to providing a variety of funding opportunities.

“One of our pilot projects, funded through the West Wales Care Partnership and Welsh Government Transformation programme, has been looking at digital developments and how we can support communities to offer a blended approach to on-line and in-person activities”, beams Nia George. “The three of us felt that a month of activities would help us celebrate this work”.

“Nia came up with WEBruary and to be honest”, continued Jamie Horton, “it has really helped guide the process of creating a comprehensive calendar of providers. We have talks, interactive sessions, tutorials, storytelling, training sessions and many more opportunities including a bingo session and a general knowledge quiz. What is great about this month is that people will be given a cadre of information around each of the groups as well as additional sessions that they can access outside of February”.

WEBruary activities are offered to anyone living and working in West Wales so please check out our calendar of events and register to join us through your county Connect Platform. Our third partner, Kate Naidoo, has been the brains around the campaign and its inclusion on Connect.

“Connect will provide you with the calendar you need to book the sessions throughout the month. You can also see that we have added the providers as listings and events so you can find out more about the groups and organisations. Webruary is also a great way for us to show you other aspects of our roles and some of our community work. Perhaps there are groups who will see this as a resource they can add to. Webruary is going to be a great way for West Wales to get on-line together and create connections for all”.

Not everyone is online so please do reach out to your friends, family, neighbours, and wider community in coming weeks. Perhaps you can support them to feel more connected to others? As Covid restrictions are lessened these new ways of working will remain and it will become more important for everyone to have the skills, knowledge, confidence, and access to support to be able to take up these opportunities.

Together we are better so let’s reach out and make a difference.