Leeds Libraries and Good Things Foundation – the UK’s leading digital inclusion charity – are working together to create 100% Digital Leeds, a cross sector collaboration ensuring everyone in the city has the digital skills they need.
Thousands of adults in Leeds lack basic digital skills. A lack of digital skills can have a huge negative impact on a person’s life, and it’s those who are already at a disadvantage – through age, income, disability, unemployment, or education – that are most likely to be digitally excluded.
We know that helping people to become digitally included will bring wider social benefits. Improved digital skills help people be better informed, pay less for things, be more employable, feel more independent, be less isolated, and live better, easier, longer lives.
We want everyone to understand how digital would benefit them, be able to gain the skills they need to make the most of digital, and get connected.
We can’t do this alone: we need your help to fight the digital divide. Join the 100% Digital Leeds movement.
The picture in Leeds:
Leeds has a rapidly flourishing digital tech sector and is home to 3,500 companies including Rockstar, Sky Betting & Gaming and NHS Digital. Yet according to Opinium research commissioned by Post Office Broadband, Leeds is one of the least digitally confident cities in the UK with over a quarter of the population reported as feeling left behind by the digital revolution, higher than the national average of 20%.
Those who don’t feel confident using technology attribute it to a knowledge gap. Nearly half (45%) say they’ve never been taught how to use their devices, a third (36%) don’t fully understand the features on them, and 28% don’t know how to set them up. Furthermore, 25% think their devices are too complicated, while 19% worry about the consequences of doing something wrong.
Across Leeds, 21% of the population still lack the basic digital skills they need to participate in today’s world, and people who are offline are missing out on all the benefits the internet can provide – from helping them to find work, to saving money and keeping in touch with friends and family. With the introduction of Universal Credit and the impending channel-shift systems in Housing later this year, leaving nobody behind when it comes to digital has never been more important.
The 100% Digital Leeds approach:
The three main barriers to digital inclusion have been identified as cost of equipment, lack of skills and confidence, and lack of motivation.
Our tablet lending scheme provides connectivity.
Our tablet lending scheme supports organisations to give people internet access, helping them to understand the positive changes that can be made to their lives through being online. We have 150 4G enabled iPads available for organisations to borrow to discover new ways of working to bridge the gap between those offline and those online.
The Online Centres Network provides skills and confidence.
The Online Centres Network is made up of thousands of grassroots organisations all working to tackle digital and social exclusion by providing people with the skills and confidence they need to access digital technology. The Network is free to join and there are many benefits to being a member, including access to funding opportunities, training and support, and resources.
Digital Champions provide motivation.
Digital Champions help us to reach the digitally excluded in their communities by advocating the benefits of digital, and signposting people to free training and support available across the city. Anyone can be a Digital Champion, and we’d like to recruit as many as we can to inspire the people of Leeds to start their journey with digital.
Events help spread the word.
We’ll be getting out and about in the community, making sure everyone knows about 100% Digital Leeds and has the opportunity to join the movement. Look out for a chance to say hello.
Join the movement:
Contact us and one of our Digital Inclusion Coordinators will be in touch to discuss how you or your organisation can be a part of the 100% Digital Leeds movement. Alternatively look out for one of our events and take the chance to say hello.
The impact we’ve made:
Discover the difference that 100% Digital Leeds has made so far by taking a look at our case studies.