Resources from our panel event, held on 22nd June 2021
Digital exclusion affects millions of people across the UK who are being left behind because they can’t get online. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem and highlighted the need for everyone to be able to get online and access essential services.
Over the past year, many charities have pivoted their delivery models to ensure they can continue to provide essential services through remote channels. This rapid shift to digital services has brought to the fore many challenges: access to digital devices, access to wifi/data, digital confidence and skills of staff, volunteers and beneficiaries.
Having made that ‘emergency’ leap into this digital space, how can charities go further, and embed digital inclusion longer term into their service delivery? How can charities work more in collaboration with digital inclusion charities to help the hardest to reach? And with constant funding challenges, how can charities do this on a shoestring?
With these questions in mind, we held a panel event on 22nd June 2021, in which our five experts - from Good Things Foundation, Diversity and Ability, Citizens Online, Nominet and Inclusion London - explored the ways in which charities could put digital inclusion at the heart of their work. We were delighted to be joined by 117 participants during the live stream; if you missed the event, you can still watch the full recording and download the slide deck.
We have collated the wealth of links and assets shared into an open source Google doc: this currently contains almost 50 resources, with information on digital inclusion networks, starter guides, tablet loan schemes, digital skills self-assessment tools, accessibility resources - and more. Take a look, and please do feel free to add your own!
We'd like to once again thank our fantastic panellists for sharing their insights and advice; below is a summary of each of our speakers, with links to the key services provided by their respective organisations.
Adam Micklethwaite, Director of Digital Social Inclusion, Good Things Foundation
Adam Micklethwaite is Director of Digital Social Inclusion at Good Things Foundation, a digital inclusion charity operating in the UK and Australia. The Foundation helps those facing the greatest barriers to build the digital confidence and skills they need for today’s world. Working with a diverse network of community-based organisations, Good Things designs and delivers digital social change programmes that embed digital inclusion into local community action on employability, health, social connection and financial inclusion.
With responsibility for the Foundation’s UK programmes, Adam builds partnerships with Government, corporate organisations and philanthropy that drive impact on economic and social inclusion through digital. These partnerships have included Make It Click, working with Google.org, Power Up, working with J.P Morgan Chase, and Government-funded programmes focusing on essential digital skills, digital health literacy, and ‘digital support’ for the 2021 UK Census.
- Blueprint for a 100% Digitally Included Nation
- Make It Click is a repository of digital skills resources more geared to employment: https://makeitclick.learnmyway.com/directory
- More about the support Good Things Foundation can provide here: https://www.goodthingsfoundation.org/our-network/
- Two helpful sources of data on internet usage to support the targeting of digital inclusion activity and initiatives: https://www.rouge-media.com/uk-internet-non-users and https://maps.cdrc.ac.uk/#/geodemographics/iuc18/default/BTTTFFT/10/-0.1500/51.5200/
- Infographic from Good Things Foundation to help make the case for prioritising digital inclusion: https://www.goodthingsfoundation.org/insights/building-a-digital-nation/
Atif Choudhury, CEO, Diversity and Ability
Winner of the 2018 Global `Equality and Diversity Noon’ award, Atif Choudhury is an award-winning social entrepreneur, with a background in economic justice and disability inclusion projects. Focusing on the inclusion of marginalised communities, Atif has worked with a number of high profile grassroots social development projects across the UK, the Middle East and Asia. He is the co-founder and CEO of Diversity and Ability (D&A), an award winning disabled-led social enterprise, which has supported over 20,000 marginalised and neurodiverse individuals using (assistive) technology, mentoring and tailored strategies. D&A works with organisations to implement inclusive practices that enhance the diversity of their workforce, inspiring culture shifts that boost productivity and retention.
Atif is also CEO of Zaytoun CiC (the world’s first Fairtrade Palestinian olive oil cooperative), as well as serving as a trustee for the anti-poverty charity War on Want. He was a shortlisted finalist as “Entrepreneur of Excellence’ for the 2019 National Diversity awards and remains a trustee of the pan-disability charity Disability Rights UK.
- Digital inclusion, homelessness & COVID-19: Lessons learned
- Crisis Case Study
- D&A's Digital Inclusion and Homelessness Work
- Blog Digital Inclusion and Homelessness
- Free accessibility and assistive tech resources: https://diversityandability.com/resources/
Helen Dobson, Managing Director, Citizens Online
Helen Dobson, Managing Director of Citizens Online, a UK Digital Inclusion Charity established in 2000. Their mission is to ensure that no-one is left behind in the digital world we now live in. Citizens Online consult with organisations to make recommendations to improve digital inclusion provision in communities. They work to embed digital inclusion within digital transformation programmes and develop sustainable models. They also support individuals to improve their digital skills and confidence. Helen joined Citizens Online in 2017. Previously she has worked in digital industries since 1998 when working for a creative start‐up. She has since managed a vast range of digital programmes, researched and consulted on digital skills for clients in the UK, Europe, USA and Asia.
- Essential Digital Skills Framework
- Learnings and best practice on Digital Champion approaches - One Digital (Citizens Online, AgeUK, Clarion Housing, SCVO, Digital Unite)
- Digital Champions Network (online training for digital champions)
- Digital Brighton & Hove
- Running a tablet loan scheme
- Starting a Digital Champion Project
- Citizens Online freephone digital skills helpline number is 0808 196 5883
- Citizens Online on Twitter: @CitizensOnline1
- Helen Dobson on Twitter: @SwitchHele
Chris Ashworth, Head of Public Benefit, Nominet
Chris Ashworth leads the social impact work at Nominet where he and the team design and build funding programmes that impact young people and their digital lives. Covering areas such as digital access and inclusion, digital skills, essential digital services and digital resilience, the team innovate around these areas with partners to deliver new approaches and system level change. Previously at Oxfam, Chris led the private sector strategy and founded Oxfam in Korea and Oxfam Thailand.
- Recent paper with NPC explores how youth mental health charities have pivoted to reach young people during COVID
- Reboot - a digital advice platform to support hyper-local digital inclusion and device redistribution
- Click Zero - a campaign by a number of the tech for good community members to call for zero-rated essential digital services
- Agencies For Good - a community group of agencies and consulting partners working in tech for good that emerged from the pandemic
Jumoke Abdullahi, Communications and Media Officer, Inclusion London
Inclusion London was set up in 2008 with a mission to promote Deaf and Disabled people’s equality and inclusion by supporting Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations (DDPOs) and campaigning for rights for Deaf and Disabled people across the UK. Jumoke Abdullahi joined Inclusion London in 2020 to head up their media and communications. She’s previously worked as a Diversity, Equality and Inclusion consultant in political, academic, creative and corporate arenas.