About Connecting Scotland

Connecting Scotland is a Scottish Government initiative set up in response to coronavirus.  Its aim is to help get every citizen in Scotland online.  

There are two main strands to this:

  • Provision of helpful resources for friends and family to help people get online
  • The Connecting Scotland Programme – a funded programme to support our most vulnerable citizens to get online

Connecting Scotland Programme

The Connecting Scotland Programme works with organisations to support their service users to get online. It provides iPads, Chromebooks and support to develop digital skills for people who are digitally excluded and on low incomes.

Phase 1 (April – July 2020) focused on those who were at risk of isolation due to coronavirus because they were in the extremely high vulnerability group (‘shielding’) or the higher risk of severe illness group.

Phase 2 launched on 18th August and is focused on:

  • households with children, or where a child is normally resident (this includes pregnant women with no child in the household)
  • care leavers up to the age of twenty-six (in line with eligibility for aftercare support)

A second round of applications for Phase 2 closed on 18th January.

On 11th December, the programme expanded to also offer help to organisations working with older and/or disabled people.

On 16th November the Digital Inclusion – Connecting Residents in Scotland’s Care Homes initiative launched to provide iPads and internet connectivity in residential care settings.

There is also a separate Scottish Government programme to provide 25,000 laptops or tablets, with internet access, for disadvantaged pupils to support learning outside school.


Phase 3 has not yet opened, but any updates will be announced here.


How it works 

To reach these people, Connecting Scotland collaborates with local councils, public and third sector organisations who are already working with them.    

Organisations and local councils get support from SCVO. This includes:   

  • kit – internet enabled devices  
  • connectivity – through mobile data  
  • training and support – for staff and volunteers to become ‘digital champions’ to support people to use the internet confidently and safely.   

Connecting Scotland is a partnership between the Scottish Government, local councils and SCVO. It’s supported by a range of organisations from across Scotland and the UK.   

The Scottish Government funds the programme.   

Can I get involved?

Each local Council has been provided with an allocation of devices to distribute to people living in their area.

Organisations working with people in the target groups can apply for devices to distribute through an open application process.

Registered care homes can apply directly to the Connecting Residents in Scotland’s Care Homes initiative.

Unfortunately, we are not currently able to accept referrals directly for individuals. However, we do have lots of helpful resources so you can support friends and family to get online safely.