Are we all included? New report makes five key recommendations

A new report produced with the support of VONNE has made five key recommendations to boost digital inclusion across the North.

Working as part of the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership (VCS EP), VONNE was one of three organisations that support the sector and its infrastructure appointed as Digital Inclusion Subject Liaison Leads. We worked together with East Riding Voluntary Action Services (ERVAS) and Humber and Wolds Rural Action (HWRA) throughout April, May and June 2021 to build a picture of digital activity across the community, and the barriers to it, focusing on four areas: Kit, Confidence, Connectivity and Care.

In the resulting report, newly published, the findings recognise that all four areas are interrelated and impact upon a person’s ability to access and use ‘digital’, that everyone’s needs are different and that there is no one solution. But the report also demonstrates there is a great deal of activity, support and good practice already taking place across the Northern VCSE community. 

Building on this is the first key recommendation, with members of the VCSE community urged to promote their achievements to demonstrate what is possible, as well as its positive impact. Working in partnership is also recommended, to share resources, expertise, knowledge and success.

In the report, the VCS EP states that the voluntary and community sector has flexed and adapted it’s delivery methods to support the needs of community groups and individuals, but concludes that there needs to be systematic investment in digital infrastructure, access to equipment, and upskilling to build digital confidence in our region. The report acknowledges a lack of equity within the digital landscape, and states that a long-term, sustainable approach is needed to provide affordable and accessible local IT solutions.

Read the report in full at ervas.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Digital-Inclusion-Report-Are-we-all-included.