Digital and information technology strategy

Appendix 3 – pen portraits

The 'pen portraits' below give examples of how this strategy may make a positive difference to the lives of Thurrock residents.

Introducing Peter


  • Peter is a divorced 70-something retired office worker
  • he lives alone in a council provided flat in Corringham with his 3 cats
  • he has 2 adult children who live outside of Thurrock in the north of England
  • Peter does not have a car and is reliant on public transport or lifts from friends to get about
  • Peter survives on a modest work pension which is supplemented by the state pension. He is struggling financially and lives month by month
  • without the means, Peter doesn't have many hobbies or luxuries but he is an avid reader and makes use of Corringham library
  • he buys food on a budget from Asda and Lidl and in the past this has been supplemented by food that he has grown himself on his allotment although he finds managing the allotment increasingly difficult
  • Peter suffers from cardio-vascular disease and is on medication to control blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes
  • his diabetes has resulted in surgery which makes it difficult for him to get about but he is registered with a council owned gym where he goes to an exercise class for seniors twice a week
  • as a former office worker Peter is confident with IT and has a PC and tablet that was bought for him as Christmas present a couple of years ago – he uses his tablet to read books and to catch up on the news so as to avoid buying a newspaper

As a result of Connected Thurrock, his 'my life' app on his mobile device:

  • reminds him that his bins will be collected at 11:10am on Tuesday
  • reminds him that his TransVol bus will collect him at 2pm that day to take him to his exercise class and that it is running on time
  • tells him that there is currently pollution in East Thurrock but that it will leave the borough by 4pm
  • informs him of a message from the council to say that his carer will arrive at midday to help clean his flat
  • alerts him to a message from his doctor to say that his blood pressure readings are higher than normal and that he needs to book a check-up appointment
  • asks him to complete the application for an adult social care package that he started yesterday
  • asks him to complete an online health survey to help his doctor monitor his care package
  • informs him that a volunteer gardener from his allotment at Giffords Cross will bring him some vegetables for his evening meal
  • advises him of reading recommendations from his local library based on his preferences and feedback on previous e-books that he had borrowed

Introducing Sarah


  • Sarah is a 20-something who works for Thurrock Council
  • although she has a reasonable standard of living she is supported by her parents and lives with her family of 4 in Orsett and has access to the family's cars
  • Sarah is a graduate and is in the early stages of building a career. As a result she is undertaking lots of professional development courses and remote learning
  • when not at work she enjoys going to the gym, and socialising with friends
  • Sarah is tech savvy and an early adopter who uses a variety of devices to consume media, keep in touch, run her work and social life and respond to digital marketing
  • she is well immersed on line and streams music, films and games to her iPad and iPhone and enjoys social networking
  • she rarely watches television preferring instead to watch programmes on her mobile which is never far away
  • Sarah is in the prime of her life, living it up and not taking life too seriously – feeling good and keeping in touch with her friends is important to her

As a result of Connected Thurrock, her 'my life' app on her mobile device:

  • tells her of her diary appointments for the day, where her meetings are and how to get to them
  • opens up a copy of a letter from a resident that has been sent to her to deal with
  • reminds her to complete her latest CPD course through the online learning portal
  • prompts her to look at her Oracle dashboard to update the progress against her appraisal objectives
  • gives her a real time summary of expenditure against the budget she has responsibility for
  • summarises in one place all the news headlines that are of interest to her
  • suggests the purchase of a new jacket which it thinks she will like
  • advises her to avoid travel routes where temporary road works or congestion are happening that day
  • suggests coffee houses and restaurants to work from when she is out and about and between meetings
  • keeps her up to date with what residents are saying on Twitter

Introducing Aaron


  • Aaron is 23 and lives in East Tilbury
  • he lives in a council-provided flat with his girlfriend and his mum
  • Aaron's mum suffers from a muscular skeletal condition and finds it difficult to walk and get about
  • his girlfriend is 3 months pregnant
  • Aaron is unemployed and has not worked since he left school at 16
  • Aaron spends his time watching TV, socialising with friends and following Tottenham Hotspur – his favourite football team
  • he is not technology literate and has a mobile phone but it is not a smart phone – Aaron does not have access to a tablet or personal computer
  • Aaron does not have a car and is reliant on public transport or lifts from friends to get about
  • Aaron is unhappy with his life and has been persuaded by a local area co-ordinator to visit the Tilbury community hub to see what services are available to help him into work and to support his family

As a result of Connected Thurrock:

  • Aaron has signed up to course to build his digital and IT skills
  • a local community group has provided him with a low cost tablet device to help him embed the ICT skills he is learning on his course
  • the broadband network that the council and its commercial partners has built provides him with low cost access to the Internet

His 'my life' app on his mobile device:

  • allows his girlfriend to access an app created by a local mums charity which gives her the information she needs to help her with her pregnancy
  • provides him with access to an online job portal through which he is applying for work opportunities
  • allows him and his family to apply for the benefits they are entitled to
  • allows his mum to join a number of on line support groups to help her live with her condition