Wandsworth Digital – new strategy launched

12th Oct 2020

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Wandsworth Digital is a new partnership of 70+ local organisations working together to make Wandsworth the most digitally inclusive borough in London by 2024. It is made up of charities, community organisations, schools and colleges, independent funders, businesses and the Council.

We are working towards enabling our most excluded residents to have access to affordable devices and data; to have the skills and training to access local goods and services; and the support necessary to incorporate ‘digital’ into their everyday lives.

This is a work in progress so do join us on this journey. It will take us working together as one community, each playing to our strengths, to make Wandsworth a truly digitally inclusive borough.

Strategy

Download our initial strategy here: Wandsworth Digital – STRATEGY v3.0 – 12Oct20

Focus

This new strategy for Wandsworth Digital focuses its efforts on enabling digitally excluded residents to access:

A. Affordable devices (hardware/software applications) and data services (sim-only, broadband, community fibre).

This could include: collaborating on donating/refurbishing devices with local businesses and schools, bulk buying devices, lending through libraries; bulk buying data sim-only/dongles; installing community fibre across Wandsworth etc.

Examples:

  • Local residents and business can donate laptops to Power to Connect who can refurbish and distribute to 6,000 local school children on Free School Meals.
  • Community Fibre or other ISP to increase their super-fast, affordable broadband offer to all Wandsworth residents (reflecting government incentives).
  • Funding pots are identified to purchase devices and data at scale.

B. High-quality and relevant tech skills and training, that will advance their knowledge and use of digital devices so that they can access services, education, work and more.

This could include: providing a range of ‘basic to advanced’ training courses; making the training relevant and useful for residents tailored to different age or special interest groups (‘carrots’ = emphasise the rewards of digital with beneficial incentives).

Examples:

  • Social housing tenants learn the skills necessary to pay their rent online (and/or other council services). This will reduce rent arrears and all their associated costs.
  • An elderly resident can book and attend a GP consultation online, freeing up GP, dial-a-ride and social services time and resources.
  • A resident can learn how to access Universal Credit benefits online (and maybe the foodbank online or Discretionary Payments or the Free School Meal app) to support themselves and their family.
  • A resident can learn how to apply for jobs online. Once in employment (possibly working in the digital economy), they are contributing to the local/national economy in terms of productivity and taxes.

C. Support for digitally excluded residents to develop the confidence and motivation to incorporate ‘digital’ benefits into their everyday lives.

This could include: providing support to the elderly, young people, people with disabilities and more, to use ‘digital’ to improve their quality of life in accessing education, health services, employment, goods/services online and more. Establishing a ‘digital buddy’ programme; and digital work placements. Linking Social Prescribing and Talking Points.

Examples:

  • Providing specialist ‘digital/AI’ support to older people with dementia.
  • Supporting young people to learn how to use laptops and their applications (not just social media, which they’re good at).

Download the Strategy

Here: Wandsworth Digital – STRATEGY v3.0 – 12Oct20

Join us

If you’d like to join Wandsworth Digital then please contact Aaron Barbour on [email protected] and 020 7223 2845.

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