One City Fund - Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council
Due the phenomenal success of the One City Fund, the final phase has been launched to support organisations working to end digital exclusion, and the loneliness it causes, in the city.
The ‘One City’ Fund gives people a simple way of supporting the city’s efforts to support vulnerable residents during the pandemic so that ‘no-one gets left behind’. The crowdfunding initiative is a collaboration between organisations in the city such as the City of Wolverhampton Council, the Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council (WVSC) and aims to support individuals in the city who are struggling during the current coronavirus emergency. The final phase of the project aims to raise £10,000 for local charities supporting individuals facing isolation as a result of digital exclusion, including; the Refugee and Migrant Centre, Wolverhampton Samaritans, Gazebo Theatre and Wolverhampton Learning Platform Due the resounding success of previous phases, it has been given an extra boost from the Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council who have pledged £5000 to kickstart the campaign.
Ian Darch, Chair of Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council said, “Loneliness affects thousands of people in our City, this can have devastating effects on mental and physical wellbeing. Loneliness, having no-one to talk to or to share things with, has become even more pronounced during the COVID Pandemic and, unless we pull together to change this, it will continue. Part of the solution lies in the ever-developing world of digital communication but if you don’t have the equipment or the “know how” you get left behind.
“We want to raise funds to support people whose mental health is affected by loneliness and for who digital technology can make a real and lasting difference. Wouldn’t it be great if no-one in our City was lonely – by pledging to this campaign you can play your part in bringing that about.”
What we’ll deliver:
- £5 will buy a bus-pass to enable residents to attend the Learning Platform
- £5 will buy a Connecting People mobile phone top up pack
- £8 will secure one month’s Wi-Fi for a refugee family so that they can learn English and stay in touch with loved ones
- £10 will buy a Mobile sim for 1 month to allow clients to phone for job roles
- £14 will buy one month’s internet access to a family or person who are isolated
- £25 will buy one to one remote digital support and training for 6 people
- £50 will buy 1-2-1 remote digital support, training and online connection for 12 people
- £50 would buy 3 Months of data to allow clients to access online training, job search & application support, UC Account
- £150 will buy a tablet for a refugee family to learn English; access support into employment and financial independence
- £200 will buy equipment and internet access for a family for 3 months
Why it’s a great idea:
The current COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of digital connectivity. It is estimated that approximate 35,000 Wolverhampton residents have not been online in the last 3 months. Although often seen as an issue affecting older people, 44% of those who have not been online are under 60 and disadvantaged groups are disproportionally affected. The key issues are lack of access to equipment, connectivity and confidence/skills. Digital connectivity during lock down has been vital for everything from homeschooling to reducing isolation by enabling contact with friends and families. In extreme cases, digital connectivity offered people the only chance to say goodbye to loved ones. However, for some, the lack of digital connectivity has compounded exclusion resulting in isolation, increased stress and impacting negatively on mental health. This crowdfunding campaign will provide an important boost for the network of charities in the City supporting these individuals.
Steps to get it done:
- Raise funds to support individuals facing isolation as a result of digital exclusion