In November 2020, WVSC held a Voluntary & Community Sector Gathering entitled Better Connected.
These gatherings began shortly after the first Covid-19 lockdown and have focussed on a number of topics. There was however one thread that ran throughout all of these previous gatherings, and in many of our conversations with colleagues, partners, service users and supporters during 2020 – digital inclusion.
Digital Inclusion is a bit of a buzz term, but essentially it refers to “the ability of individuals and groups to access and use information and communication technologies”. The NHS breaks digital inclusion down into a number of areas; Digital Skills, Connectivity and Accessibility.
The pandemic has shone a light on the digital divide and with calls for internet access to become a human right, we chose to focus on three key areas that conversations had led us back to; Equipment, Connectivity and Skills.
We invited a number of people working in digital to talk about things that are happening in the city, things that could happen, and how we as a sector could make these things happen.
Our Guest Speakers
Heather Clark, Strategic Projects and Funding Manager / Digital Co-ordinator at City of Wolverhampton Council talks about a digitally connected Wolverhampton.
Josie Kelly, CEO at Access To Business talks about how her organisation has been helping people in Wolverhampton get online and improve their digital skills and confidence.
Mike Hastings, Director of Technology & Operations for Black Country & West Birmingham CCG (NHS) talks about the changes in accessing NHS services via digital.
James Clarke, Comms Officer at WVSC shares ideas from around the world to inspire Wolverhampton to become a more digitally enabled city.
Following the talks by our guest speakers, participants were separated into breakout rooms and asked to answer the following questions:
- What if Wolverhampton was a 100% digital enabled City – what would that look like?
- What could you do to help make this happen?
Download the notes taken by facilitators here:
- Group 1 Notes (Stephen Dodd)
- Group 2 Notes (Catherine Perry)
- Group 3 Notes (Pavitter Mainn)
- Group 4 Notes (Julie Nettleship)
- Group 5 Notes (Pete Emms)
- Group 6 Notes (Heather Clark)
Other Conversations & Resources
- Heather Clark – CWC – Digital Inclusion Presentation (slides)
- James Clarke – WVSC – Ideas to inspire Presentation (slides)
- Chat Room Q&A
- Project Reboot
To end the gathering we asked ‘What will you do next?’ – here’s what participants said:
WVSC is recruiting volunteers to join a Digital Buddies network.
We hope to create a network of volunteer buddies who can provide help and support for those who would like to get online and learn the basics, but need a bit of help and practice. You don’t need be an expert, you just to know your way around a smart device / laptop and feel confident enough to offer support to someone who knows less than you.
Full training and ongoing support will be provided.
If you’re interested in becoming an Digital Buddy, please contact our Volunteer Centre Manager Pete Emms on email@example.com or 01902 773 761.
Digital Wolves Website Launched
City of Wolverhampton Council have created a new website digitalwolves.co.uk. This aims to support you on your digital journey, whether you’re an individual or an organisation.
The website offers advice and resources for residents, schools, job-seekers, businesses, charities and includes information on digital infrastructure and innovations across the city.
Are you working on something?
If you’re working on something involving digital in Wolverhampton, we’d love to hear from you.
Contact our Comms Officer James Clarke with details on firstname.lastname@example.org.
To promote your digital activity on #Digital Wolves email email@example.com.