Our work to Drive Digital Inclusion:
Community Action Suffolk is involved in driving digital inclusion for our VCFSE (Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise) sector and for individuals who may find barriers in engaging digitally. During Covid we carried out a series of impact surveys that highlighted some worrying issues around digital. Many VCFSE organisations found the lockdowns a challenge but rose to that challenge and engaged with digital to stay in touch with their users, volunteers and other community and VCFSE groups and organisations. Some found that they could deliver services in a different way, and engage with new and different volunteers – this has led some to explore ‘remote’ volunteering and has widened the range of people who are able to volunteer. Some organisations found that they could not deliver services due to the nature of those services – for instance some counselling services. As we have moved out of the Covid Pandemic the need to tackle some of the issues around skills, willingness to engage and the need to enable people to engage digitally through third parties, has grown.
To address this need CAS, Suffolk County Council and the Digital Inclusion Network (see below) held an event on 8th June 2022 ‘Driving Digital Inclusion’ to engage with VCFSE organisations and others to explore what support is available to make digital engagement easier, and to also explore how we make sure that no-one is left behind in the push for digital. The event was well attended by VCFSE organisations and others, and covered a range of topics including those who have successfully engaged with digital at community and volunteer level such as Suffolk Libraries Service and the Food Museum, along with input from The Good Things Foundation on their training offer ‘Learn my Way’ and their work with the National Data Bank – which is a supply of free data to enable people early on in their digital skills journey and who want to perfect the basics of accessing services and tools online. The presentations from the event are available on this website……
Community Action Suffolk has been involved in the Suffolk Digital Inclusion Network since it’s inception. The Digital Inclusion Network is a collaborative approach bringing together Councils (County, District and Town and Parish), NHS organisations, Educational Institutions, Suffolk Libraries, the Private, Voluntary and Community Sector. The network provides a platform to:
- discuss digital inclusion
- support collaboration and project development
- share best practices / resources
- identify gaps in digital provision and how to access the appropriate digital inclusion support for individuals
Digital Inclusion Conference – 8th June 2022
Please find below a list of materials from the recent Digital Inclusion Conference that Community Action Suffolk hosted. You will find the a video of the whole conference, plus all the presentations.
Digital Inclusion Conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2i7TwLgrXE&t=10s