Thank you to everyone who attended our July Digital Inclusion Network event. This blog shares some notes from the meeting.
Attendees included representatives from:
- Cambridgeshire County Council, Care Together Commissioning
- Connecting Cambridgeshire, County Council
- Cambridgeshire Libraries
- Cambridge & District Citizens Advice Bureau
- Accent Housing Limited
- It Takes a City
- Red Hen
- Grow Share Make
- Cambridge Online
- Cambridge Ahead
- Laptops 4 Learning
- Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service
- Hunts Forum
- Integrated Neighbourhood Programme, Fenland
We welcomed Louise Branch, Community Engagement Manager from Good Things Foundation. Louise updated us on the work of Good Things Foundation including the National Databank scheme.
We went on to hear from Cambridge Ahead and attendees’
Cambridge Ahead, a business and academic membership organisation, has been convening a small ‘task and finish’ group to explore how its members can make a positive impact in promoting digital inclusion. The group have laid out a plan with three main ‘pillars’:
- Promoting the reuse and recycling of digital devices among Cambridge Ahead members (including by sharing local approaches such as Laptops 4 Learning)
- Hosting digital skills drop-in sessions (‘Tech Tea Clubs’), in partnership with other local partners
- Exploring stronger links between the business/academic community and local charities, including potentially matching skills within the CA membership with skills needs among local charities.
Connecting Cambridgeshire’s new Digital Inclusion Lead officer, Will Plant, joined this month from Westminster City Council where he gained wide experience as Digital Inclusion Manager. He will be working with the library service and other key organisations to ensure residents can gain digital skills and get connected.
Cambridgeshire Libraries have been successful in their bid to the National Databank, and they go live at the end of July. All 33 libraries are Online Centres/Digital Hubs.
Care Together is working in a place-based way with local partners (including Integrated Neighbourhoods, VCSE organisations and city/district councils) to identify gaps and co-produce initiatives to help older adults to live happily and healthily for longer in their own homes.
- Graeme Hodgson, Commissioning Lead, Care Together
- Jess Weeds, Commissioner in Cambridge City, Care Together
- Sashi Patel, Commissioner in Fenland, Care Together
- Leneva Nwachukwu, Commissioner in South Cambridgeshire, Care Together
- Karen Berkley, Commissioner in Hunts, Care Together
- Diana Green, Commissioning Officer for East Cambs, Care Together
Visit Care Together – Cambridgeshire County Council for more information.
Accent Housing have formed a new Community Development and Inclusion Team, made up of Community Development Partners and Inclusion Partners.
Laptops4Learning have been getting devices from companies in Cambridgeshire out to charities and other delivery organisations in the county for the past couple of years. We are very happy to hear from charities that need devices and from companies that need a data-secure way to get their surplus devices to the local community.
It Takes a City have recorded a podcast with Laptops4Learning, detailing how our partnership works and the huge difference it has made to the rough sleepers we work with. It should be out in September.
- Time after Time e-waste fund
- Area: National
- About: Hubbub and Virgin Media O2 announce a new round of Time After Time funding, providing £500,000 for innovative solutions that help to close the digital divide while reducing electronic-waste.
- Deadline for expressions of interest: 20 October 2023.
- Find out more
- Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Health Inequalities Innovation Adoption Prize 2023
- Area: Countywide
- About: Apply for up to £13,500 to support the adoption of a proven innovation to target health inequalities across four areas: cardiovascular disease, mental health, high impact users and access inequalities (e.g. language, cultural, digital).
- Deadline for applications: 1st August 2023
- Find out more
Reading & Resources
- Good Things Foundation, Internet Periodic Table
- Good Things Foundation, Libraries Delivering Digital Inclusion
- UK Parliament, Communications and Digital Committee. The Government has “no credible strategy” to tackle digital exclusion.
- Digital Inclusion Directory, Cambridge
- Digital Poverty Alliance, UK Digital Poverty National Delivery Plan 2023
- Charity Digital Skills Report, 2023
Join us next time: Thursday 7 September @ 4pm via Zoom
We will be joined by Thomas Lowe, Head of Policy, and Communications at Digital Poverty Alliance. The focus of the alliance is: “policy and advocacy, gaining the evidence needed, and bringing the community together to create the social change needed to end digital poverty by 2030.”You can read their National Delivery Plan here.
There will be time for introductions and updates on what’s happening in Cambridgeshire.
If you would like to find out more about the network or would like help making connections with attendees, get in touch.
Follow us: @CambsDigi