Skills Spaces and services

Digital pathways: the journey towards digital inclusion

Introducing a new series of events and resources designed to help Big Local areas respond to the ‘digital revolution.’ 

Since the onset of lockdown measures earlier this year we have witnessed an acceleration in the digitisation of our everyday lives. Coping with the reality of social distancing has meant that most of our activities have moved online, with many of us finding ourselves using the Internet more than ever before.

Technology has allowed some of us a level of ‘normality’ in our lives, but this ‘new normal’ is not inclusive of the millions in the UK who find themselves digitally excluded: unable to access devices and data or without the skills needed to use them with confidence. And whilst the digital revolution has allowed some people to get involved in their community for the first time, others are finding themselves increasingly isolated and feeling invisible.

It is said that people learn best about getting online when they are helped by someone they can trust, and so communities are best placed to respond to many of the changes. However, learning how to help others has meant a lot of learning ourselves – how many people had their first Zoom call in 2020?!

Digital Pathways

Local Trust is working to support communities respond to the digital revolution. From working with others online, to engaging with the wider community and organising events, our digital pathways guide aims to support people and communities at each step of their digital journey:

  1. Beginner – resources aimed to help you get going with digital and develop your skills
  2. Intermediate – resources aimed to help you build your digital confidence and skills
  3. Helping others – resources aimed to help you help others and drive digital inclusion in your community

So, what can I do now?

  • Beginner/ Intermediate: Explore our beginner, intermediate and helping others pages, which signpost you to existing training materials to help you stay safe online and build confidence and skills.
  • Intermediate/ helping others: Find out how other Big Local areas are responding by joining our dedicated Workplace group, which is a place to learn and share with others also on this journey. It has resources for improving your own skills on Zoom, as well resources that can help you to help others – e.g. example laptop loan agreements (drafted by another community group).
  • You can also explore this open googledoc which details how other Big Local areas are responding (If there is data missing / incorrect about your Big local area, feel free to edit the document or email us.)

Event: Connecting communities to the internet

Intermediate/ helping others: Sign up to our event on Connecting communities to the internet which will take place on Friday 4th December 2 – 4 pm.

This event is designed for people who want to deliver digital inclusion solutions in their community. We will explore the possible solutions related to helping people in your community access data and Wi-Fi.

Sign up here

What else is planned?

In 2021 we will be launching a ‘digital exclusion’ learning cluster. This will be an in-depth learning journey for people who want to deliver a digital inclusion project in their community.

We will be running events and signposting to guidance and support on:

  • getting devices to people in your community
  • developing your digital skills, and what tools to use when working digitally
  • creating your next Big Local plan using digital tools.

We will also be launching an in-area support offer with The Good Things Foundation, for the Big local areas who would like to work with a partner to develop a bespoke digital inclusion solution for their community.

How can I keep up to date?

If you have any suggestions, idea or want to be kept in the loop, please email partnerships intern Ellie Pope who will keep you updated when we have new events and resources on offer.