Wandsworth Digital – Feedback from Second Meeting (15Sept20)

At Katherine Low Settlement we’re working towards Wandsworth becoming the most digitally inclusive borough in London by 2024. To do this we need the whole community involved. On 15th September we hosted a second meeting to discuss digital inclusion in Wandsworth. 30 people attended. They came from a variety of community organisations and the Council. The group agreed it need to bring more people and organisations into the discussion and subsequent work ahead of us.

Meeting Recording

Listen back the meeting here: https://zoom.us/rec/share/CL0TtqqOOz8rEhr39mgd9bv7FYSIlaKLwRgXiLYmN3NVPzSg8uPi6w_EBmsk4bLv.ME_qoUtu-zq-NpBS Access Passcode: xMfiS!Q2

Meeting Notes


A SurveyMonkey questionnaire has been shared via email with 70+ local organisations/people. It aims to build a better picture about what’s going on across the borough with all things digital.

Please can everyone complete the survey soon – by the end of this week if possible. It will only take 5 minutes maximum, and it gets it off your plate! Thanks in advance.

The deadline for completion is 30th September. The findings will be shared at our next meeting on 12th October.

Learning from others

A lot of amazing digital inclusion work is happening across the UK and beyond. We need to learn from them and look to bring some of their ideas and practice into the borough.

We will create a space on Google drive as a shared repository. Everyone please actively look for and do some research into your area of digital interest. Please upload and share what you discover on the Google drive.

Isabel to ask people from Leeds to speak at our next meeting, as they are inspirational.

Things talked about by the group included:

  • Leeds (and others) use digital access as a means for local authorities to save costs and streamline not only business processes, but also enable the community to access help and benefits, find jobs, etc. – benefits all around. Dangle the carrot.
  • Alexa (on Amazon) and now the 3 network providing SIM connectivity through their devices to overcome the need for broadband. Affordability is still an issue for many.
  • Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce is launching on 29th September ‘London Open for Business’, a suite of marketing tools and directory to promote digital jobs/services. https://www.openforbusiness.london
  • Wandsworth Digi Tech (now closed) was a networking initiative (mainly in Balham) to develop the local tech sector.
  • Buttle UK research into food and digital poverty: https://www.buttleuk.org/news/the-state-of-child-poverty-2020
  • Wandsworth Council – Adult Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee which met last night, paper 5 looks at digital opportunities to work with residents who need assistance. This is a strategic paper, so the detail will start to get worked up from here: https://democracy.wandsworth.gov.uk/documents/g6585/Public%20reports%20pack%2014th-Sep-2020%2019.30%20Adult%20Care%20and%20Health%20Overview%20and%20Scrutiny%20Committee.pdf?T=10
  • Other Councils are allowing hardships payments to cover data costs for local residents.
  • Community Fibre in Wandsworth offers superfast broadband for about £20/month to many local communities. More details are needed about this. https://communityfibre.co.uk/
  • Age UK Wandsworth are running a new independent shopper service to get older people ordering their shopping online. They also run ‘digi pals’ training and have an i-pad lending service, amongst other things for local older residents.
  • Wandsworth Carers Centre have running, until end of November, a device lending and training service. They also offer Zoom support for carers.
  • Beer and Virtual Reality (VR) on Lavender Hill: https://www.fourthieves.pub/arcade

We discussed a number of digital issues affecting local residents. These included:

  1. Connecting to Digital
    1. Lack of hardware
    2. Lack of money to buy hardware
    3. Having to share hardware at home with siblings/parents
    4. For those that do have equipment it can be old & poor quality or they might just have a mobile phone and/or 1 laptop that is shared
    5. Impact this has on education, work, relationships/communication, access to services and more.
  2. Learning how to use the technology (developing skills)
    1. Need to develop the skills and knowledge and confidence to use technology (particularly when face-to-face training is difficult to do e.g. digital mentors)
    2. Safety online & Safeguarding (e.g. grooming, scams and fraud, in app purchases)
    3. Role of parents/carers to teach and guide their children
  3. Digital Poverty
    1. Cost of data and connectivity
    2. Cost of computers, laptops, smart phones and software

Practical way forward – strategy working group

A small working group will develop a draft strategy and plan based on issues e.g. hardware, connectivity, funding, financial hardship, loan service, fraud/safeguarding, education/skills/training etc. (not demographics at this stage). The draft will be share with the rest of the group for comments and improvements. From this strategy we can identify and set up working groups to take forward any practical work.

Who else to involve?

The group agreed that we need to develop our strategy first. This will then help us determine who else we need to involve. But some suggestions included:

  • Schools – there are around 42 in the borough
  • Colleges & Universities e.g. South Thames College and Roehampton University
  • Jobcentre Plus
  • IT businesses e.g. Apple (moving into Battersea)
  • Tele/broadband Communication companies e.g. BT, Vodafone, 3, EE, Sky
  • Celebrities – ‘shout out for laptops’ can be effective. We’ll need to develop a contacts list.

Funding opportunities

Everyone please keep your eyes open for any funding opportunities and share with this group.

Please support Power to Connect’s Crowdfunder: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/power2connect


Everyone  was asked to blog, press release, write/film/post news items on websites and newsletters, tweet and facebook and more about issues of digital inclusion, so that we can raise awareness of the issues and the work of this group.

A webpage on Power to Connect website will be devoted to the work of this group. We might develop a website at a later date.

We’ll need to develop a communications strategy and plan.

Date of next meeting

We agreed to meet on Monday 12th October, 10.00-11.30am, on Zoom.

Here’s the link>>>> https://zoom.us/j/95939780014?pwd=VWtNTk9WVHJMR2xlZHpWWjF0b2tJZz09

Meeting ID: 959 3978 0014     Passcode: 999328

This is an open meeting so do join us if you’d like.

Donate an old laptop

Until then if you’d like to donate an old laptop then please contact www.powertoconnect.co.uk

Support our family

We are committed to building stronger communities and enabling people to challenge themselves and find ways out of isolation through our varied community projects. There are so many ways you can support our work and help us to deliver our services to even more people.

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