LGA Pathfinder Workshop Two

Leeds is one of nine councils awarded funding as part of the Local Government Association (LGA) Digital Pathfinders Programme, designed to support councils seeking to innovate and develop pioneering initiatives to advance digital inclusion, digital connectivity, and cyber security. 100% Digital Leeds have been funded to develop a Community-based Model to Increase Digital Inclusion and run a series of related workshops with five councils selected by LGA. Interested parties can follow our progress on the project Miro board. The resulting model will be published and launched in December this year.

Workshop two: Barriers, assets, and opportunities

The second workshop in the series of four broke down stage two of the community-based model. The session built upon the content of the previous, thinking about how we can understand the digital inclusion needs of the target community then use a strengths-based approach to identify potential solutions to overcoming those barriers.

We were joined by representatives from Coventry, East Riding of Yorkshire, West Berkshire, Plymouth, and London Borough of Bexley councils. These partners are working with us to sense-check the model, ensuring the content is useful for Local Authorities with a different geographical or demographic make up to Leeds, and councils at different points in their digital inclusion journey.

The session started with time for further reflection on workshop one. There were additional questions from partners on the background of 100% Digital Leeds, how Leeds City Council were motivated to take action on digital inclusion, and where the initial investment came from. These questions prompted us to include some additional context as a preface to the written model. This will take the form of links to existing pieces on the Digital Inclusion Toolkit, the site that will host the final model. Overall, partners reflected on  how content could be adapted to fit the needs of their council, and some have already begun to initiate changes in their practice as a result

“It’s changed my mindset on how to approach digital inclusion – rather than thinking about who is already doing it, I’m thinking about who has service users who could really benefit from digital within that setting?”

Workshop attendee

Stage two content and feedback

Stage two – Barriers, assets, and opportunities – has the following steps:

  1. Gathering information
  2. Identifying the barriers
  3. Identifying the assets
  4. Identifying the opportunities to do more

Discussions included:

  • understanding how we workshop with partners to gather insights needed to coproduce a community-based digital inclusion intervention
  • talking about barriers in the context of both the issues that cause Leeds residents to be digital excluded and the things in the way of community partners delivering more digital inclusion support
  • how we use a strengths-based approach to embed digital inclusion support into existing services in a way that is efficient and effective.

“The content is relatable and applicable, even considering the differences between a city like Leeds and a large, rural authority.”

Workshop attendee

The partnering authorities were overwhelmingly positive in their feedback but had some ideas on how the session content could be made even better. As a result of this feedback we will:

  • Include more example mini case-studies in the model, helping those using the model to understand how the principles might be applied in different contexts, such as with different communities
  • Emphasise the importance of digital inclusion awareness workshops as an opportunity to bring whole staff teams onboard from the start and have everyone’s voice heard
  • Include practical examples of how we collate information for signposting and keep organisations up to date with opportunities
  • Include more information on the importance of building and maintaining relationships with partners and workshopping ideas around resource-dependant maximisation of digital inclusion support to the success of digital funding bids

The workshop rounded off with time for partners to reflect on the programme as a whole and how working closely with the 100% Digital Leeds team has made an impact to date. We will showcase examples of how involvement in the programme has positively influenced the plans of partnering councils as part of the launch event which will take place towards the end of the year.

“It’s triggered questions for me about what this could look like in my authority and helped me to see how it could work within my own role.”

Workshop attendee

Digital arts participation project for Arts in Care Homes Day

100% Digital Leeds and partners are pulling together a programme of creative digital opportunities for care homes as part of Arts in Care Homes Day (24th September). This project brings together 100% Digital Leeds’s Arts and Culture Digital Inclusion Network and work with care homes.

The programme will support:

  • care home residents to have remote access to arts and culture activities
  • arts organisations to reach audiences in care homes and form new partnerships with care homes
  • care homes to develop their digital inclusion offer

Improving arts and culture participation for residents

Improved access to arts and culture programming supports the improved health and wellbeing of care home residents:

The Baring Foundation (2011) report An Evidence Review of the Impact of
Participatory Arts on Older People summarises some of the benefits:

  • Improving mental wellbeing, increased confidence, and increased self-esteem.
  • Embracing new and positive aspects to their identity and life role.
  • Counterbalancing the mental wellbeing difficulties associated with periods of loss which can increase the risk of low mood, anxiety and social isolation.
  • Improving cognitive functioning, communication and memory.
  • Increased sense of pleasure, enjoyment of life, and creative thinking.

The programme of events

The programme will be made up of events and activities that are:

  • Cultural, creative, or artistic
  • Free to access
  • Accessible remotely via a digital tool such as Zoom
  • Taking place on Arts in Care Homes Day or the following week (between 24th and 30th September)
  • Suitable for some or all care home residents – older people, people with dementia, people with learning disabilities, and disabled people
  • Suitable for care home residents to engage with either as a group in a communal area or independently in their room

As there is no funding available to support this project we envisage that the programme will for the most part be made up of suitable events and activities from organisations’ existing programming, or taster sessions designed to showcase existing or future programming.

How to get involved

The project will be launched with a webinar on Friday 1st July, 10.30-11am, when we will have a clear idea of what the programme will look like. We will release an expression of interest process for both arts organisations and care homes who would like to participate. Follow us on Eventbrite to be among the first to hear about the webinar.

In the meantime we’re keen to hear from partners who would like to help shape the project or share experience and best practice to help strengthen the project. There is a project steering group made up of representatives from arts organisations, care homes, and other relevant organisations which partners are also able to join. Contact amy.hearn@leeds.gov.uk

LGA Pathfinder Workshop One

Leeds is one of nine councils awarded funding as part of the Local Government Association (LGA) Digital Pathfinders Programme, designed to support councils seeking to innovate and develop pioneering initiatives to advance digital inclusion, digital connectivity, and cyber security. 100% Digital Leeds have been funded to develop a Community-based Model to Increase Digital Inclusion and run a series of related workshops with five councils selected by LGA. Interested parties can follow our progress on the project Miro board and we’ll publish an update blog after each workshop. The resulting model will be published and launched in December this year.

Workshop one: Focus and partnerships

 Workshop one took place in mid-April. As well as starting to get to know the partnering councils and understand their digital inclusion journey so far, the first workshop was an opportunity to break down the first stage of the model.

Stage one – Focus and partnerships – has the following steps:

  1. Understanding the concept of a community-based approach to digital inclusion
  2. Identifying the target community
  3. Identifying key partners
  4. Engaging key partners and keeping them engaged

Initial feedback on stage one from partnering councils was positive. Workshop attendees identified the concept of working in partnership with the voluntary sector as a good fit and appreciated the focus on practical solutions in relation to existing work. When writing the model, the 100% Digital Leeds team recognised that in comparison to many other councils across the UK, we have a well-established and resourced team. Capacity could be a potential barrier to other councils taking on the community-based model.

These concerns were mirrored by the partnering councils, with key issues being identified as:

  • Challenges with capacity for those with small teams, or without a team
  • The scope of the digital inclusion challenge and knowing where to start
  • Lack of funding and resource to support the development of digital inclusion initiatives
  • The need for a compelling offer to engage organisations with limited capacity

These are all issues that are addressed in the model but it’s clear that we need to put more focus on highlighting practical solutions in the final published version.

Free creative digital storytelling workshops

LEEDS 2023 are excited to be working on a series of free workshops in partnership with 100% Digital Leeds that aim to make creative software training more accessible to Leeds communities.

Each workshop will give you new ways to share your own stories and the stories of the people you work with using free and easy to use digital tools. They’ll cover easy video editing, sound recording, image editing, and other skills great for capturing and sharing the impact of your work and creating engaging content for your social media or website.

The same skills could be brought into your creative events programming and used to help the people and communities you work with to record and share their stories and creative work, upskill them and teach them new skills. These free workshops will be breaking down the perceptions that digital software’s are difficult to use, expensive and inaccessible.

Starting at the end of April, and hosted at ‘Platform’ near the Leeds Train station; these monthly workshops will focus on learning how to use free and simple digital tools, resources, and software, with each workshop covering a different skill. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner or not confident in your digital skills, the workshops will cover all the basics and everything you need to know to make the most of the software after the session.

The workshops are for anyone who is new to digital design software, people that want to learn new skills for themselves or to share with the people and communities they work with, or anyone who wants to explore new ways to make digital content. These workshops will enable you to make artworks and create digital content for your organisation or businesses, and will give everyone taking part new skills to use as part of LEEDS 2023 year of culture.

Open to anyone over the age of 18, all the workshops will be recorded and be accessible online with BSL translation shortly after the sessions. All participants will be given the option of claiming a free First bus Day rider if needed to attend the workshops.

Sign up to the events will open end the end of March with the first session running April 27th 17:30 – 19:00.

Please keep an eye out on LEEDS 2023 and 100% Digital Leeds social accounts for more updates, and follow 100% digital Leeds on Eventbrite to book free tickets when the events go live.

Digital inclusion and food poverty

“I’ve sent people to the library to access a computer because if they’re looking for jobs, I mean… everything’s online, they don’t accept written applications, it’s got to be online.”

Volunteer, St. Cross Church Food Bank in Middleton

People experiencing food poverty are likely to also be experiencing digital poverty. Organisations supporting people experiencing food poverty are well placed to identify digitally excluded people and signpost them to the help they need to get online.

Trussell Trust’s partnership with Vodafone on the ‘Vodafone Together’ scheme is a national example of how food banks and organisations supporting digital inclusion can come together to identify families living with digital poverty and offer them support, in this instance providing free connectivity for up to a year.

Similarly, 100% Digital Leeds has worked with Food Banks and other partners in Leeds, providing access to digital devices and training, equipping staff and volunteers to provide and signpost to digital inclusion support, and we’re keen to do more.

Understanding digital poverty

The pandemic has caused many people to use the internet in new ways. According to the Lloyds Consumer Digital Index 2020 saw 1.5 million people get online for the first time, with many others spending far longer online than in previous years. Many first time users of the internet during the crisis have been driven by need – nearly three-in-four are people now shopping online for groceries or clothing, for example.

However, the same report shows that 2.5 million people in the UK are currently without internet access, leaving millions of people cut off from engaging with the digital world. 55% of those offline earn under £20,000 and, while there are multiple barriers to digital inclusion, for those on low incomes affordability is often the biggest factor.  

29% of internet users come into the ‘very low engagement’ category, meaning they don’t go online much at all. Nearly half (44%) of this category earn less than £20,000 per year. Some of these have limited access to the internet because they are experiencing ‘data poverty’, meaning they’re not able to afford a sufficient, private and secure internet connection to meet essential needs.

For those on a low income, accessing the internet costs more and is less reliable. Many people can’t afford or don’t have a good enough credit rating to get a contract for WiFi at home, leaving them relying on mobile phones and 4G data. Those who can’t afford a high enough monthly 4G allowance may consistently run out of data and be left without the ability to get online for part of the month. Those who can’t afford (or are otherwise unable to access) a data contract at all are left paying for data on a ‘Pay As You Go’ basis – the most expensive and least reliable way to access the internet.  

Digital and data poverty means it’s much harder to apply for jobs online, manage money online, or quickly access essential services such as health and benefits. It means children can’t do school work online, or keep in touch with their friends. There’s an insightful blog post written by one of our partners, Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network, about the data and cost involved when doing some things online like video calling.

As well as making it easier for people to access services and keep on top of things, being online actually saves people money – people with the most digital engagement also pay less for important bills such as utilities, saving an average of £228 per year – 2.5 times more than those internet users with low engagement.

The people who would most benefit from being online are, more often than not, those who find it hardest to get online. 100% Digital Leeds is working with partners across the city – including Food Banks – to identify people experiencing digital poverty and other forms of digital exclusion and get them the support they need. Here are some examples of our work so far:

Supporting Food Banks to provide devices and data

100% Digital Leeds has worked with Food Banks and organisations providing food parcel provision to support the connectivity of people experiencing digital poverty.

100% Digital Leeds’s partnership with Community Calling, a project by Hubbub and O2 to gift refurbished smartphones to people who need them, has meant that organisations like Woodhouse Community Centre and New Wortley Community Centre have been able to gift reconditioned devices with a year’s free 4G data, calls, and texts to those in need via food parcels as part of their role as Community Care Hubs, ensuring that the most vulnerable people in the city have had access to support during the pandemic.

As part of their development as Digital Health Hubs, in partnership with 100% Digital Leeds and Local Care Partnerships, community organisations like Hamara Healthy Living Centre and Holbeck Together are able to loan tablets with 4G data via their in-house Tablet Lending Schemes, or gift smartphones with 4G data via the Community Calling scheme to members of the community experiencing digital poverty, many of whom have been identified and supported when accessing food bank services.

Tweet from Holbeck Together

Supporting Food Banks to signpost to services

100% Digital Leeds worked with Leeds South and East Foodbank in 2019 to trial and then implement a scheme that meant their food bank volunteers have access to digital devices with data, allowing fast and efficient signposting to services as well as supporting the administration of food bank services. A similar approach has also been implemented at Hamara Healthy Living Centre, amongst others, to great success.

Say we’ve got someone who comes in with a food voucher, but he or she’s got other problems.  Say they might have a drink problem.  We don’t have a great deal of literature, but with [the iPad] we can go on and say ‘right, you need to go to Forward Leeds.’  Or look up organisations like the Citizens Advice Bureau, and it means we get reliable and up-to-date information.”

Barbara, St Cross Church Food Bank in Middleton

Supporting community organisations to signpost to Food Banks

100% Digital Leeds work with a wider range of partners from across all sectors, supporting them to better understand the potential digital exclusion of their service users and put the right support in place for them.

Nurture@Kentmere are a parent-led community support group breaking down the barriers of isolation that often come with parenthood. They have created a safe, non-judgmental environment for parents and carers of young children to come together and access various support services, including helping people to get online. Having access to digital equipment has allowed the group to support members to find out about and access the services they need, including Food Banks.

“We had a member contact us as their friend had no food or warm clothes, so we were able to coordinate with our local charity shop to organise some clothing, as well as making a referral to a food bank and getting as much information as possible.  The outcome of this was that we were able to provide the person with some donated clothes to keep them warm, food, and information on next steps.”

Member, Nurture@Kentmere

Supporting access to the newly digitised NHS Healthy Start Scheme

100% Digital Leeds is working with Zest to ensure that people in Leeds are supported to access the NHS Healthy Start scheme which will be digital only from April this year. Taking the scheme online makes it difficult for those without the equipment, skills, and confidence to apply for this much needed and under-utilised support. This on-going partnership has seen organisations across the city trained to support access to the scheme, including identifying digital exclusion and signposting to further support.

Next Steps

100% Digital Leeds is pleased to partner with Leeds Food Aid Network and we look forward to working more closely with network members to support the digital inclusion of people experiencing food and digital poverty.  Read more about the 100% Digital Leeds approach.

Digital Health Hub Launches in South Leeds

Community organisations in south Leeds have been working with 100% Digital Leeds and Beeston and Middleton Local Care Partnership to develop a local network of Digital Health Hubs, places in the community where people can go to get support to get online and make the most of the internet to improve their health and wellbeing.

Next week the Digital Health Hubs are hosting a series of launch events, giving local people and partners the opportunity to find out more about the organisation’s services as well as the digital support on offer. Digital support includes helping people to develop their skills, lending and gifting digital equipment to those who can’t afford it, and help accessing health tools such as the NHS app, online GP services, and prescriptions.

A chance for partner organisations to offer their services to local communities

The launches are an opportunity for partners to reach local communities, and support will be on offer from a range of organisations and services including: Leeds Cancer Awareness Project offering information about early signs and symptoms of cancer, NHS screening, ways to reduce risk and the importance of early detection; Leeds Libraries supporting people to access their free online services like eBooks, online newspapers and magazines, and family history research tools; Patient Ambassadors supporting people in accessing healthcare appropriately for them; Green Doctors offering advice on utility bills including tariff comparison and switching, issues with energy suppliers, Priority Services Register sign up for vulnerable people, claiming the Warm Home Discount, and energy efficiency advice to save energy and use heating controls effectively.

There’s still time for organisations to partner with the Digital Health Hubs, by offering their services as part of the upcoming launch events and similarly supporting the delivery of the Digital Health Hub offer going forward.

Attend our launch events and find out about support available in the local community including help getting online

The launches are free and open for anyone in the community to drop-in, find out what’s available at their local centre, and learn more about digital support on offer. Partners are welcome to drop by to find out more about the Digital Health Hub offer, identify opportunities for signposting, and explore opportunities for partnership.

Hamara Health and Wellbeing Day

Wednesday 19th January, 11am – 3pm at Hamara Healthy Living Centre, Tempest Road, Beeston, LS11 6RD

An event to assist people with the things that matter the most to them. Attendees can expect Tai Chi, a houseplant sale, cancer screening, blood pressure checks and social prescribing, as well as digital support including skills support, equipment lending, and support to access health tools and apps. More information about Hamara.

Belle Isle Tenant Management Organisation (BITMO): Improve Your Wellbeing Day

Wednesday 19th January, 12noon – 3pm at BITMOs Gate, Belle Isle, Leeds LS10 3QH

Attendees can access support to improve their emotional and physical health by connecting with their community. This includes accessing social activities, exercise and movement classes, and health services, online and in person. Digital support will be available including skills support, equipment lending, and support to access health tools and apps. More about Belle Isle Tenant Management Organisation.

Middleton Elderly Aid Digital Health Hub Launch

Thursday 20th January, 1.30 – 3.30pm at Middleton Elderly Aid Social Centre, Acre Road, Middleton, LS10 4LF

A range of organisations will be available to help with anything from bus passes and blue badges to blood pressure checks, cancer screenings, social prescribing, and saving money on utility bills. People will be on hand to help people use their mobile phone, tablet or laptop while enjoying cake and a hot drink. More about Middleton Elderly Aid.

Holbeck Together Digital Health Hub Launch

Friday 28th January, 10am – 12noon at St Matthew’s St Community Centre, Holbeck, Leeds LS11 9NR

Find out more about the digital health hub offer including support to develop digital skills, equipment available for loan, and the range of services available at Holbeck Together and from other local partners.

What are Digital Health Hubs?

Digital Health Hubs are local spaces with friendly people ready to help the community build their skills and confidence, get online, and use the tools that can make it easier for them to manage their health and wellbeing. This includes supporting people to: engage with the NHS in the way that works best for them; make the most of tools that can help them understand and manage existing health conditions; use digital to improve wider determinants of health such as employment, housing, social inclusion, and financial inclusion.

Each organisation chosen to be a Digital Health Hub is at the heart of their local community, offering bespoke support services designed to best meet the needs of the community they work with and in. They’re trusted places where people feel safe and welcome. By working with key local organisations to embed digital inclusion support into existing services we can reach people where they are and utilise staff skills and knowledge of the local area and community, supporting a person-centred and holistic approach.

Each Digital Health Hub offer is different, designed to best meet the needs of the community, but they all have a core offer in common. Communities can get free support to borrow digital equipment with data and develop their digital skills and confidence to do what they would like to do online, like keeping in touch with family and friends or getting a food shop delivered. Staff can help people get set up with digital health tools like the NHS App to learn how to use the internet to access essential services like booking health appointments, managing prescriptions, and attend video appointments. These digital support services are embedded across each organisation’s wider offer, making the most of all opportunities to engage the community with motivational conversations and highlight the potential personal benefits of engaging with digital.

100% Digital Leeds’ role in supporting the development of Digital Health Hubs

100% Digital Leeds are working with Local Care Partnerships to develop a place-based approach to digital inclusion to improve health participation. Learning from the success of partnering with Cross Gates and District Good Neighbours to develop Leeds’s first Digital Health Hub the Digital Health Hub model is at the core of the 100% Digital Leeds approach. The approach utilises the existing place-based cross-sector network to identify the trusted community partners with bases in the area and bring them together to develop their digital inclusion offer as a network. The initial focus is on developing digital infrastructure and building community capacity for delivering digital inclusion support. The LCP’s health partners help their third sector colleagues to understand the specific health needs of the local community and design bespoke digital inclusion interventions around those needs, to support improved health outcomes and increase digital health participation. Further partners from both community and health sectors support community engagement with the Digital Health Hubs through signposting. Sharing learning, resource, and best practice in such a way makes the development process as effective and efficient as possible, ensures each Digital Health Hub offer complements the others, and strengthens existing cross-sector relationships, making for more successful partnerships going forward.

The development of the Beeston and Middleton Digital Health Hub Network

100% Digital Leeds developed the place-based approach to digital inclusion to improve health participation working with Beeston and Middleton Local Care Partnership to develop Beeston and Middleton Digital Health Hub Network. £45,000 funding was made available for partner organisations to develop as Digital Health Hubs, paying for digital infrastructure such as equipment and connectivity, or staff capacity to develop and implement the project. Although developed in partnership, each Digital Health Hub is unique, building on the organisation’s existing assets, embedded within existing services and offers, and designed to meet the specific needs of the local community. Though each Digital Health Hub is an accessible space at the heart of the local community with a shared a core digital inclusion offer, each organisation has taken their own unique approach to developing their Digital Health Hub offer.

Hamara Healthy Living Centre

Hamara Healthy Living Centre in the heart of Beeston has over 20 years of supporting the diverse community with various health and support needs. They offer various activities to support members to stay active and connected to their community. As part of the digital health hub offer they are providing 1:1 digital support sessions, group training on using various health management apps including the NHS app and have a tablet lending scheme which comes with data for use in homes where there is no Wi-Fi. Members are also able to make an appointment at the centre to use the devices in reception and café area. Staff have received Digital Champion training ensuring that digital inclusion needs are considered as part of a holistic conversation whenever a person visits the centre, from using the foodbank to attending an ESOL lesson, and everything in between. They received funding to improve the centre’s Wi-Fi, buy equipment for use in the centre and as part of their tablet lending scheme, and to support staff capacity to develop and implement the project.

Middleton Elderly Aid

Middleton Elderly Aid aims to promote independence amongst the over 60s living in the Middleton area, through a range of activities and services. They are a dedicated organisation with trusted people on hand to help members to access the relevant tools and information to improve their health and wellbeing and gain the skills and confidence to do more digitally. As well as offering support in centre through digital classes Middleton Elderly Aid have embedded the offer into their outreach, engaging people with digital inclusion in their homes and helping with online services such as ordering repeat prescriptions, booking appointments, and accessing apps for weight loss, sleeping, exercise, and meditation. They support the improved connectivity of their members with Wi-Fi at the centre and a tablet lending scheme. They received funding to support staff capacity to deliver and implement the project.

Belle Isle Tenant Management Organisation

Belle Isle Tenant Management Organisation – known locally as BITMO – works on behalf of Leeds City Council to manage around 1,900 homes in the Belle Isle area. As well as being responsible for all the usual landlord tasks, such as collecting rent and repairing homes, BITMO also provides access to employment, digital, health and money support to its tenants via the GATE. The GATE is a community resource centre at the side of the housing office in the heart of Belle Isle. Staff from BITMO’s GATE support the community to access online health services using equipment in centre or at home via their tablet lending scheme. Focusing on the development of digital inclusion support for their Retirement Life Residents, BITMO have partnered with Belle Isle Senior Action on the delivery of the project and have received funding to expand connectivity into Retirement Life community spaces, purchase tablets for use in the centres and as part of their tablet lending scheme, and staff capacity for project delivery. They are engaging their older members by embedding digital support within social activity such as bingo and coffee mornings and have trained their wardens to champion digital as part of their community outreach role.

Holbeck together

Holbeck together were established as a Neighbourhood Network Scheme in 1992 to support older people living in Holbeck. Drawing on these experiences and expertise, they now welcome people from all generations. They provide a variety of services, activities and opportunities for people to get involved locally. Many activities are specifically for people in later years of living, others for younger people and some for all ages. They can support with any digital queries on a one to one basis via appointment or drop in and have a device lending scheme with data included. They received funding to invest in improving the connectivity of their community space, and to add a dedicated Digital Inclusion Officer role to their organisational structure.

MHA Communities South Leeds

MHA Communities South Leeds support older people to stay living independently in their own homes for as long as possible, with the best possible quality of life. Through befriending, lunch clubs, assisted shopping, activity and friendship sessions, outings, and escorts to appointments MHA help to tackle loneliness and isolation in people over 55 – helping them to lead fulfilled lives and remain as active members in their local communities. MHA Communities South Leeds are working to embed digital inclusion support across all elements of their service offering a person-centred approach to supporting the development of their members’ digital skills and confidence. They are training all staff to be Digital Champions and are opening up access to digital equipment through their tablet lending scheme. They received funding to support the development of the Digital Health Hub.

Dewsbury Road Community Hub and Library

Dewsbury Road Community Hub and Library has free-to-use PCs, free Wi-Fi, and friendly staff to give the community a helping hand. They can help people look for information, download apps, and use their devices to better manage their health. They offer digital learning sessions and one to one support for anyone in the community. After piloting the development of their Digital Health Hub approach at Dewsbury Road Community Hub and Library, Leeds Libraries plan to roll out the approach at Libraries across the city.

Next steps: expanding the Digital Health Hub approach across the city

After developing the place-based approach to digital inclusion to improve health participation working with Beeston and Middleton Local Care Partnership, 100% Digital Leeds are now working with York Road Local Care Partnership to test the model. This will see the development of Digital Health Hubs across East Leeds over the next 6 months, after which the intention is to roll-out the model with LCPs across the city. Having been approached by organisations wishing to become Digital Health Hubs based outside of the place-based support areas 100% Digital Leeds plan to bring together organisations with Digital Health Hub offers, or looking to develop offers, as one city-wide network to further share resources, learning, and best practice.

If you would like to know more about Digital Health Hubs or how 100% Digital Leeds can support your organisation to develop and implement the Digital Health Hub approach contact amy.hearn@leeds.gov.uk or rachel.benn@leeds.gov.uk

Embedding Digital Inclusion: Leep1

Online activities with Leep1

Get online week is over for this year, but we’re going to carry on our theme of embedding digital inclusion by sharing a selection of case studies throughout the week which showcase some of the excellent ways our partners have integrated digital aspects into non-digital activities.

Mandy Haigh, project and development manager at Leep1, has shared some of the online activities they rolled out during the pandemic to help their members learn, stay connected, and keep active during a period of isolation.

Who are Leep1?

Leep1 are a self-advocacy group that enables learning disabled adults to be in control of their own organisation, with activities tailored for them. This includes help to develop social, health, employment, and educational skills.

What are they doing?

We run an accredited training café called Café Leep and through this we have successfully put 34 of our trainees through related NVQ training, 19 of which have gone on to either paid employment or volunteering. Our NVQ training is a unique offer and there is no other café supporting adults with learning disabilities across Leeds to get this qualification.

Leep1 are also an online centre with Good Things Foundation, offering digital skills to people with learning disabilities. This has been invaluable during the pandemic for our trainees to access our remote support as well as wider support.

How are they integrating digital inclusion?

We set up an online group on Facebook on March 17th due to lockdown to continue the delivery of our services, which grew rapidly to now over 400 members. Part of the team focused on the members who were not online by delivering iPads and programmes so they were able to join the online group. Seeing their faces when they came online for the first time after long lengths of time being isolated was a very special moment. This was difficult to manage as both the person with learning disabilities and their carers/support had little or no digital skills.

The other part of the team concentrated on the online activities, part of this was the delivery of Café Leeps NVQ food safety which has been an important part of the online work as unemployment is at its highest and people with learning disabilities are even further from the labour market post Covid-19.

The most isolated were supported to get online, set up Facebook accounts and Zoom so they were able to join our online group support. Café Leep NVQ training was delivered online daily so that café trainees were still gaining their employability and food safety skills. Some learning-disabled group members who weren’t trainees are now ready to sit their NVQ exam because of the training. 

What were the activities?

The activities we ran online were Yoga, keep fit, cooking, art, drama, BSL, sewing, literacy and maths all on Zoom. On Wednesday evenings we run a friendship group, having tea together, doing karaoke and using digital skills and our members have delivered virtual DJ sets on a night and are weekend admin.

To get our members active over the lockdown our Healthy Living group asked the members to use their step counters on their mobile phones and input the steps they achieved daily on our Facebook group page where we have a weekly winner who gets awarded a certificate for being Stepper of the Week.

During learning we integrate a game called Kahoot into most of our lessons, it makes the learning interactive and fun which our members enjoy. Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform that makes it easy to create, share and play learning games or trivia quizzes in minutes.

We get our members to do their own power points which they deliver as part of their monthly People First meetings. They use Word to write about the topics and then upload it onto the power point ready for the meeting.

Some of our members delivered Facebook live sessions online during lockdown such as cooking lessons, craft/needlework sessions, Countdown and other games. One mum and her son with a learning disability regularly made curries online via Facebook live, and their recipes were to die for. 

Café Leep have been using tech within their lessons for a few years now and they have an e-learning platform which teaches them all about food safety, this was a god send during lockdown as it meant most of our members were already able to use tech.

What apps did they use?

The main apps we use are Kahoot, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook through using tablets and desktops. We mainly use tablets with our members to get online. We teach our members to do the social media for our platforms and more recently they have been learning how to do Reels on Instagram which has been such fun. 

Leep1 top tips for delivering online activities

We try to use tech in all our sessions as it not only gets our members used to using tech, but it makes it a fun way of integrating tech into the lessons using apps like Kahoot.

One of our members will look up all the routes for where they are going out on trips and plan bus timetables on the computer. It really helps making what they are doing fun as this helps them to retain the information. 

Susan who is the co-chair of Leep1 a lady with Downs Syndrome has started a regular podcast every Thursday. We have had some amazing guests on the podcast such as Hilary Benn MP and more recently interviewed Carley from 100% Digital Leeds on the digital inclusion gap. All the podcasts are on our Facebook page Leep1Leeds to re-watch.

Using a phonics app on a tablet for one of our members allowed him to learn how to read and spell. He wanted to pass his driving test and needed to be able to read so this was the driver behind him wanting to learn how to read. After 6 months he was then able to read sentences which was an amazing achievement. 

What did people think?

We have been running our Healthy Living group sessions where our members were able to speak about their wellbeing. These sessions have been essential in supporting the mental wellbeing of our members throughout lockdown. 

We have incorporated using the tablets by using the Kahoot platform for our trainees learning which helped them to become more engaged with the subject matter and technology at the same time. Most have now downloaded the app to their phones to use in their daily life.

Darren Nixon

Both Maisie aged 28 and Jamie-Leigh 33, were employed by Leep1 during lockdown.

Maisie was given a tablet during lockdown which has helped her with checking her emails, being on an interview panel, Zoom with her Grandma, Friendship Group and using social media. She is also admin for the Leep1 Group Facebook page which was set up in lockdown to deliver all the Leep1 activities online. 

Jamie-Leigh has used a laptop over the past 6 months, at first, she found it quite difficult but once she has got used to it, she was able to do her emails on there, book meeting rooms and run consultations on Zoom with Leep1 members and through these consultations with 3 learning-disabled staff members we produced an employment e-booklet for other people with learning disabilities and autism to use and support them when they are starting work. 

Jamie-Leigh also consulted with 5 adults with learning disabilities and autism around digital inclusion and this information was passed to ALaDDIN (Autism and Learning Disability Digital Inclusion Network so they could progress further work to close the digital inclusion gap. 

Find out more about Leep1

We are on most social media platforms which you can find the details for these on our website www.leep1.co.uk. We are visible across most social media platforms for each of our social enterprises, Leep1, Café Leep and AND (AbilitiesNotDisabilities).

Embedding Digital Inclusion: Pyramid of Arts

Pass the Print with Pyramid

Get online week is over for this year, but we’re going to carry on our theme of embedding digital inclusion by sharing a selection of case studies throughout the week which showcase some of the excellent ways our partners have integrated digital aspects into non-digital activities.

This entry is from Alice Clayden, Creative Programme Coordinator at Pyramid, about how using a digital medium has enabled the creation of collaborative artwork by artists with learning disabilities.

Who are Pyramid?

Pyramid works with people with learning disabilities in groups and one to one to discover, explore and enjoy the arts! We work with people with all levels of abilities and have specialised sessions for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities.

At Pyramid, art means all art forms: painting, drawing, music, dance, theatre, film, photography, sculpture – anything our members want to try!

Our Discover programme is for people with mild-moderate learning disabilities. The groups meet for 38 weeks per year, completing three creative projects over three terms.

Our High Rise programme is for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. We currently run a music group and a movement group. Our High Rise groups have a strong track record of producing new music and devised theatre, which we share through public performances.

Our Development Teams involve one artist with a learning disability working one to one with a non-learning disabled artist. The DTeam format works well for people who have an interest or skill in a particular art form that they want to develop and/or for people who want to try creative activities but whose support needs are such that group work is not appropriate for them.

How are they integrating digital inclusion?

Collaborating Development Team artists Rhea and Alice Burford have created, and self-directed an ongoing Pyramid project called ‘Pass the Print’. Passing a piece of digital artwork back and forth to one another via email, artists Rhea and Alice add to and edit the piece in response to the last layer added using a variety of creative programmes. The piece will start as a blank page and evolve over time into a collaborative piece of original artwork which celebrates and unites both artists!

A mixture of adobe photoshop alongside various FREE drawing apps were used.

Setting a general theme for each piece is a good idea when starting a new piece, and also having tight deadlines for sending in progress work through to one another means that pieces don’t get forgotten!

What did people think?

The Pass the Print pieces were shared on the Pyramid social media accounts and they got positive feedback. Lots of people were asking if we could turn them into prints and post cards that they could purchase from our online shop. This is now on our TO DO list for future shop products.

Alice and Rhea really always enjoy the process of working on collaborative pieces together as they have similar interests and styles of working! But having the option of working on a digital piece which they worked on in layers, exchanging the file back and forth via email meant that this gave them the time and space (physically and psychologically) to develop the piece in their own time, maybe with a cuppa in bed or out on a bench in nature, rather than having to do it there and then in the studio. This freedom of choosing when and where they could work on the art definitely impacted the feel of the finished pieces!

What’s next?

Alice and Rhea would like to extend the idea of Pass the Print project out to other Pyramid DTeams who meet up for creative sessions at the Pyramid studio. Often our groups and development teams meet at the same time on the same day every week for sessions, so often the only time people get to see what fellow artists have been working on is by getting a sneak peak of art work in progress being pinned on the wall, half-finished prints on drying racks, parts of sculptures left out to dry until next weeks sessions.

Alice and Rhea believe that Pass the Print project will encourage our artists to communicate amongst one another, share ideas and start to experiment with more collaborative approaches to their creative practice without the pressure of verbal introductions and group meetings as these can be overwhelming for people.

The hope is that if people meet first and get to know one another initially through exchanging their artwork they will feel more comfortable, confident and open to face-to-face collaborations in the future!

Where can you find out more about Pyramid?

Website – www.pyramid.org.uk
Twitter – @Pyramid_of_Arts
Facebook – @Pyramid.of.Arts
Instagram – @pyramid_arts

You can also find our more about the artist Rhea here!

Embedding Digital Inclusion: Carers Leeds

Walking with Carers Leeds

Get online week is over for this year, but we’re going to carry on our theme of embedding digital inclusion by sharing a selection of case studies throughout the week which showcase some of the excellent ways our partners have integrated digital aspects into non-digital activities.

First up, we’re hearing from Holly, Digital Inclusion Co-ordinator at Carers Leeds, about a woodland walk they organised using apps for plant identification.

Who are Carers Leeds?

Here at Carers Leeds, we support unpaid carers – people who support a friend or family member due to their disability, illness, mental health issue, or substance misuse problem. We offer lots of general and specialised advice and support and host a variety of support groups and activities (including dementia support groups, activities for over 50s, walking groups, and more!). For anyone interested, head over to our website www.carersleeds.org.uk or follow us on Twitter @CarersLeeds, where you can keep up to date with our information and events.

How are they integrating digital inclusion?

Our digital inclusion work is something we have been dedicated to over the past months in light of the changes we have all experienced due to the pandemic. We want to empower carers across the wider community of Leeds to feel included and confident with technology despite any barriers they may face. We have been offering a range of digital support to tackle digital exclusion and data poverty. Some of this support has included gifting devices and data, offering 1-1 coaching sessions, sharing written ‘how to’ guides and video tutorials, and delivering remote desktop support!

However, we know technology can be a daunting experience for a lot of people, so we thought an activity which integrated digital into a non-digitally focused activity would be perfect for those who wanted an introduction to technology without the added pressure of classic features which can be overwhelming (like emails, online banking, and social media).

What was the event?

In light of this, we decided to host a woodland wellbeing walk at one of the parks in Leeds which incorporated the use of plant identifier apps on Samsung tablets to identify different trees within nature based on features such as flowers, branches, leaves, and fruit! These apps were easy and interesting to use as they gave us lots of fun facts about the plants we identified, such as the symbolism and mythology linked to them.

We also gave people the option to use physical printouts to give carers the ability to choose, and to move the sole focus away from technology alone. This walk allowed us to incorporate a fun activity which both promoted wellbeing and the use of technology in a way to make it less intimidating. We received some fantastic feedback and have more walks planned!

What went well?

What worked so well was the mix of the outdoor activity which promoted wellbeing, the group setting which allowed carers to socialise and connect with one another, and the use of technology and print-outs.

I think a top tip for any organisation wanting to try this activity with their target audience would be to have the apps pre-downloaded and open on the devices ready for people to use. This way, the pressure of knowing specifically how to use the device is reduced. For many carers we have supported within our digital inclusion project, a fear of pressing a wrong button is very common and this quick preparation before made the use of this technology accessible for all.

What did people think?

‘This was such a unique activity and nothing like we have ever offered before. The feedback was so good that we are going to run similar sessions on a more regular basis. It was great to see old-school paper and new-school technology work together side by side, meaning that no-one felt left out’

Nikki Pattinson, Carer Engagement Lead, Carers Leeds

The apps used

Tree ID from the Woodland Trust

Printable nature guides from the Field Studies Council

Celebrate Get Online Week with 100% Digital Leeds!

18th – 24th October 2021 is Get Online Week and it’s not too late to get involved!

Whether it’s making one of your existing activities a ‘Get Online Week special’ and bringing a bit of digital into someone’s day, signing up to one of our webinars to learn how you can do more with digital, signposting someone to one of our partners’ Get Online Week activities, or finally signing your organisation up to the Online Centres Network, there’s plenty of ways for you and your organisation to get involved with Get Online Week 2021.

Make your existing event, activity, or session a ‘Get Online Week Special’

If you’ve got a few bits of digital equipment like a couple of tablets, you can find a way to bring a bit of digital into an existing event, activity, or session in a way that is easy, fun, and engaging, and you might even inspire someone to take their first steps with digital.

Top tips from the 100% Digital Leeds team to help you bring a bit of digital in to someone’s day:

  • You don’t need to be an IT expert or to have done any digital stuff before, it’s about raising awareness of the benefits of being online and celebrating that.
  • Your activity doesn’t have to be a digital one to start with – in fact it’s often better if it isn’t! You can bring a bit of digital into anything, just think about the digital tools or apps that might engage attendees and make your session even better. Check out how Carers Leeds have brought digital in to their walking group sessions using apps that help people identify plants and flowers and see how Leeds Irish Health and Homes use digital to bring Irish music and television in to their Lunch Clubs.
  • Don’t try and make it all about digital, try combining digital activities with offline activities. For example a ‘Games Day’ could have regular board games and jigsaws alongside some tablets with game and jigsaw apps out for people to try, too.
  • Make the digital part fun and easy to engage with. Simple things like games, music, and video, can help draw people in and help them start building the confidence to take on more serious things you might want to show them, like emails and eSafety.
  • Share the things you enjoy and feel confident using! If you’re excited about a tool or app the people are more likely to be excited, too. The digital things you use day-to-day might not feel new or innovative to you, but they will be to other people. People love things like Google Earth and you can even make Google Maps exciting!
  • If you’re promoting your activity or event try to avoid mentioning ‘digital’ and ‘online’ too much to avoid putting off people who aren’t online and might not see a digital themed event as ‘for them’.  Sell the non-digital element, and maybe include phrases such as “Join in fun activities, find out more and try and something new”. If it’s an existing session with regular attendees you probably don’t need to advertise at all!
  • Get Online Week is about fun and celebration, and what’s a party without cake and a cuppa?

Sign up to one of our ‘Embedding Digital’ workshops

We’re hosting two online workshops during Get Online Week, both free of charge and open to all. Both workshops are practical, informal sessions where you can learn from others what has worked for them, ask questions, and come away inspired and full of ideas about how you can incorporate some fun and engaging digital in to your events, sessions, and activities.

Both workshops are perfect for you tick one or more of these boxes:

  • You work with people with people who may have low digital skills and confidence
  • You work in the fields of digital inclusion or have an interest
  • You work with communities
  • You want to find out more about how to support people to go online
  • You’re a Digital Champion
  • You work in a care home or care setting
  • You work with people living with dementia

Embedding digital inclusion into your existing activities

We’ll hear from organisations across the city who are supporting people to try new things online, building their confidence and skills with digital whilst they attend a coffee morning, memory café, bingo session or even an art group. They will share some hints and tips for how to do this within your existing activities and share apps, online tools and resources that are great for people with low digital skills to inspire them to take their first steps online, building confidence and motivation with tech. This is with planning, approach, equipment and delivery to ensure an inclusive meaningful experience.

Online tools to support and inspire people to go online

When supporting people to overcome digital inclusion barriers and go online it’s good to use tools and apps that link to their hobbies and interests. In this informal and interactive session an exciting national partner (we can’t say who yet!) will share a range of really useful apps, online resources and great tools to inspire people to take their first steps online. They will cover a range of themes from hobbies and interests to tools to support people to manage their health and wellbeing online. Supporting a person-centred approach in empowering people to do the things they want to do online and enabling them to have greater access to a wide range of opportunities. Brilliant for people with low digital skills and confidence, to reduce the potential fears around the online world and making it enjoyable and fun!

Encourage people to drop in to a Get Online Week event

We’re excited to see so much Get Online Week activity taking place across Leeds next week – can you help to make sure everyone knows about them? For people lacking digital skills and confidence, or those who don’t see themselves as ‘digital people’, support, encouragement and signposting is key to them taking their first steps with digital. If you can tell people about one of the events happening next week, chat to them about the positives, and encourage them to attend, you can help our partners reach the right people and really make a difference.

What’s on in Leeds for Get Online Week 2021

MHA Communities South Leeds: Breakfast Buddies

Tuesday 19th October, 9.00am-11.00am, St Andrew’s Community Centre, Beeston

Come and have breakfast with us, try something new and have a good natter! Learn about all the digital support available. (Transport available) – Contact the centre: 01132716201

Cross Gates Good Neighbours: Coffee Morning

Tuesday 19th October, 10:00am – 12:00pm, Cross Gates & District Good Neighbours’ Scheme CIO, Station Road, Cross Gates, Leeds LS15 7JY

Find out more about getting online, borrow a tablet, sign up for computer lessons, or just get some friendly advice.

Leeds Libraries: Digital drop-ins

  • Tuesday 19th October, 11:00am – 12:00pm: Hunslet Community Hub & Library
  • Tuesday 19th October, 1:30pm – 2:30pm: Compton Community Hub & Library
  • Thursday 21st October, 10:30am – 11:30am: Armley Community Hub & Library
  • Thursday 21st October, 2:00pm – 3:30pm: Leeds Central Library

Need help to use your tablet, smartphone or computer to try something new, say hello or get tech savvy? Come along with your device and talk to our friendly librarians who will answer any questions about digital you may have.

BITMO GATE: Coffee Morning

Wednesday 20th October, 10:30am – 12:00pm, BITMO GATE, Aberfield Drive

We’ll have devices for you to try and staff on hand to answer your digital questions over hot drinks and treats! You’re welcome to bring your own device if you’d like to. For more information or an online link, please call 0113 378 2190, text/WhatsApp 07891 274237 or email gate@belleisletmo.co.uk

MAECare: Digital 121 sessions

Wednesday 20th October, 12:00pm – 3:00pm, 57 Cranmer Bank, Leeds, LS17 5JD

Support with all your digital questions and queries, whether you just need a bit of help or you’re starting from scratch. Call 0113 2660371 for more information.

Neighbourhood Action In Farnley, New Farnley & Moor Top – ‘Let’s Get Digital’ with Jessica

Wednesday 20th October, 2:00pm – 4:00pm, 307 Lower Wortley Road, Leeds, LS12 4QA

Call into the office if you would like some help with getting online or have any queries regarding your existing device, or just come and see us for some tea and biscuits! All welcome! 0113 2632945

Middleton Elderly Aid: Digital Drop-In

Thursday 21st October, 1:30pm – 3:30pm, Middleton Elderly Aid Social Centre, Acre Road, Middleton, LS10 4LF

Staff and volunteers are here to help you with any online issues from applying for blue badges, online banking, or just shopping online. Refreshments and cake provided.

Holbeck Together: Coffee and Connect Morning

Friday 22nd October, 10:00am – 12:00pm, St Matthews Community Centre, Holbeck, Leeds

We will have devices for you to try and staff/ volunteers on hand to answer your digital questions over hot drinks and treats. You are also welcome to bring your own device if you would like to. For more information please call 0113 245 5553 or email matthew@holbecktogether.org

Your Back Yard & Bramley Elderly Action: Digital Cafe

Friday 22nd October, 1:00pm – 2.30pm, Bramley Community Centre

Drop in and get all the digital support you need. Email kyra@yourbackyard.org.uk for more information or check out Your Back Yard’s Get Online Week blog post

Leeds Irish Health and Homes: on call support

All week!

If you would like to have a go or need any help please contact Anne Pearce on 07843 353661.

Carers Leeds: Fancy connecting with nature and technology?

Thursday 28th October, 11:00am, Middleton Park outside the Cafe

We would like to invite carers for a leg stretch and a chat as we explore the beautiful Middleton Park to give everyone a chance to get connected with nature and technology in one! We will be bringing along tablets that carers can use to identify plants, flowers, and other fun things in nature for anyone who would like a gentle introduction into technology in a relaxed environment, or for anyone who enjoys nature! To book a place call 0113 380 4300 or email patricia.fisher@carersleeds.org.uk or holly.wilkins@carersleeds.org.uk

This is everything we have for now, but for the most up to date Get Online Week Information follow 100% Digital Leeds on Twitter. We’ll be dropping in to as many of our partner events as possible and sharing everything on Twitter so keep an eye out for more top tips for successful engagement, quotes from people that have dropped by, and probably loads of selfies!

Sign up to the Online Centres Network and get ready for Get Online Week 2022!

‘Get Online Week’ is a digital inclusion campaign organised by Good Things Foundation, a social change charity helping people to improve their lives through digital. Sign your organisation up to their Online Centres Network to be the first to hear about next year’s campaign. You’ll also get access to a whole load of unique support opportunities such as funding, training, resource guides, and networking. They even sometimes have free equipment and data for you to give out to the people who need it most. It’s free to sign up, so what are you waiting for?