Digital inclusion support for organisations during COVID-19

We want everyone in city to be able to make the most of digital to stay healthy, informed, and connected and we know that many Leeds organisations are using digital technology to reach out to people who are suffering from the effects of isolation and quarantine.

Here’s how we can help your organisation get the skills and resources you need to meet the needs of your service users digitally.

This isn’t an exhaustive list; if you need help with anything digital inclusion related contact us and we’ll see what we can do.

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Discover our offer and meet the team at Leeds Digital Festival

Our upcoming Leeds Digital Festival events are a great way for you to find out more about our offer and how we can help your organisation to make the most of digital for your organisation and service users. Both events are run in partnership with CoSpace North.

Supporting Digital Inclusion in the Face of COVID-19

Monday 27th April, 10:30–11:30 // online, via Zoom // free // book via Eventbrite

This event will introduce the 100% Digital Leeds team and demonstrate how we can help to improve the digital inclusion of your organisation and service users by building digital skills and confidence, offering access to equipment, being aware of funding opportunities, and knowing more about the free online tools and resources that can help motivate people to engage with digital.

If you’re working with vulnerable, excluded and isolated groups and are interested in digital inclusion, we would love to meet you. You don’t have to be doing any digital yet and we welcome people from a range of different organisations including Neighbourhood Networks, community projects, and social groups of all sizes. Whether you’re confident in engaging people with digital or want to find out how to get started, you and your organisation will benefit from the contacts, practical learning, and hints and tips on offer at this event.

Person-centred Care in the Digital Age

Monday 27th April, 12:00 – 13:00 // online, via Zoom // free // book via Eventbrite

There are a wide range of tools and resources available to support people to self-manage their conditions, from apps and online support groups to remote monitoring. However we know that 58% of over 60’s have a long-term condition, and these adults over 60 are least likely to have the basic digital skills to be online. This means that those who would benefit most from accessing these online tools to self-manage their conditions are the least likely to have the skills, access and motivation to do so. So – how do we ensure this key demographic are supported to make best use of the online world to improve their health and wellbeing?

Using myCOPD as a case study which is now available across Leeds for people living with COPD, this event will explore how barriers to self-management apps can be addressed through digital inclusion and how peer support groups have adapted their services in the face of COVID-19.



Digital Champions Training available remotely

We offer free training for anyone wanting to better understand how to support adults with low or no digital skills to make the most of digital. Our Digital Champions training is free, lasts between an hour and 40 minutes, and can be delivered via video conferencing. The training helps your staff and volunteers understand the barriers to digital inclusion and how they can help their service users to overcome them – whether that’s showing people how to get online or signposting them to other services.  You don’t need to be a computer expert to be a Digital Champion, it’s much more about being supportive, encouraging, and enthusiastic.

If you’d like to know more about Digital Champions training contact us.

Useful online tools resource for Digital Champions, staff, and volunteers

We’ve compiled a list of useful free tools and resources that organisations and Digital Champions can use to support people to stay connected, informed and well through isolation and quarantine. We’ve covered all sorts of topics from staying healthy and active to staying safe online, and have sections on supporting specific demographics such as people with learning disabilities, people with Dementia, and ESOL learners.

If you have any useful links or resources to add to our digital tools resource contact us or use the hashtag #DigiConnectedLeeds on Twitter.

Free loan of equipment via our Tablet Lending Scheme

If lack of equipment or wifi is stopping any of your service users from getting online to access vital service and stay connected with friends and family our Tablet Lending Scheme may be able to help. We have a pool of 4G iPads that organisations can borrow free of charge to lend to their service users who are not able to get online. The iPads are in high demand at the moment but we are working to move them between organisations and get them to those most in need. Our iPad has been a lifeline to Beryl who supported by Carers Leeds.

If you would like to borrow 4G iPads complete our online form and we’ll see what we can do.

100% Digital Leeds: COVID-19 Fund

There’s still time to apply to our grants fund supporting Third Sector health and wellbeing Response to COVID-19.

Closing date is Friday 24 April, but please note our initial round of funding has been allocated and we are currently contacting organisations to inform them of the outcome of their application. However, we are working to secure additional funding, so please continue with your application. Your application will help us to see the level of interest in this grants scheme and help us to make the case for more funding, as well as giving us a better understanding of how we can help you.

You can apply for funding here – thanks to those of you who have already applied.

Free devices from DevicesDotNow

Finally, there is a campaign being run by Futuredotnow called Devicesdotnow offering emergency support for vulnerable and digitally excluded people to get online in these times.  There are several ways to get involved.  If you are part of the Online Centre’s Network there is a short form to complete to be considered for equipment in their first phase.  Other community organisations that aren’t Online Centres can register to be considered for the second phase.  If you are a business and have spare equipment to donate you can do that too.

Many organisations and people have started to receive their tablets, laptops, smartphones, sims, dongles etc. already from this excellent initiative  – see full info here