Firstly, let me introduce myself. I’m Sally and like many, I wear a couple of hats. I have two part-time jobs with CCVS, as a Development Worker and Cambridgeshire Digital Partnership Coordinator. I have been in the coordinator role for about a month. As I am settling in, I would like to share a little about the partnership, why I am so excited to be involved and why you should watch this space.
The Cambridgeshire Digital Partnership (CDP) is a network, currently made up of six Cambridgeshire based organisations, who are working around digital exclusion. At the moment we are; Cambridge Online, Cambridge Youth Panel, Cambridgeshire Libraries, the CHS Group, the New Horizons service and CCVS. At regular steering group meetings, each organisation shares knowledge, resources, and skills. They, like many, have had a very busy year.
The Covid-19 pandemic saw work around digital exclusion pick up pace. As we stayed home to reduce the spread of the virus, millions across the country found themselves disconnected from their education, communities, and support services. Many did not have digital skills, access to kit or internet connection. It was the local charities and organisations, who acted quickly to try and reach and support the most vulnerable. In Cambridge alone, over a thousand laptops were repurposed and delivered to people without devices, and this is just one example of how organisations stepped up.
During the pandemic, the partnership has worked together to raise awareness of the digital divide in Cambridgeshire, to enable and encourage joined-up action. In addition to their day to day work they set up this website, social media and facilitated conversations across the sector, through an online conference, but that was only the beginning.
I have joined at a time when the steering group are thinking about the future, what the partnership is, what it should become and how it could best enable change. The digital divide is a social issue that was there before Covid-19. It has been accelerated by the pandemic and given a more prominent, national profile. There is a need to maintain this momentum and to develop a strong, joined-up local response.
We will need your help with this.
We will soon be raising our voice, reaching out to more organisations, asking them to join the conversation. So, watch this space, follow us on @CambsDigi and let’s tackle the digital divide together.
Get in touch with Sally via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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