Holbeck Together have worked in partnership with the 100% Digital Leeds team for over 2 years, developing their digital inclusion offer to better support their communities in South Leeds.
As an organisation they are well placed within Holbeck to support the needs of their service users. They take a person-centred approach in providing a variety of services, activities, and opportunities for people to get involved in locally. Many activities are specifically for older people, with others for younger people and some for all ages.
Developing their digital inclusion offer
Holbeck Together became a Digital Health Hub in 2021, working with 100% Digital Leeds and the Beeston and Middleton Local Care Partnership to increase digital health participation for people within the community. They are 1 of 16 Digital Health Hubs within South Leeds.
As part of their journey to becoming a Digital Health Hub, Holbeck Together identified the barriers faced by the local community in accessing and using online information and tools. Through the support of 100% Digital Leeds, Holbeck Together have worked to tackle these barriers:
- Knowledge to make best use of the devices they own
- Confidence to access online services
- Cost of getting online
- Understanding digital language and terminology
Delivering digital support
With successful funding Holbeck Together have employed a digital inclusion worker, Sean Flannigan, to coordinate, develop and deliver their digital inclusion offer. Sean has developed their service offer to include 1-1 digital support sessions, group sessions and drop in’s to really support those with low digital skills and confidence.
Through the partnership of 100% Digital Leeds and Hubbub UK, Holbeck Together received smartphones with free data which they gifted to their members. This has enabled many to have access to the internet and be able to call friends and family, which has had a huge impact on their lives.
Within existing coffee mornings and group activities, members have supported each other in using the smartphones, sharing which apps they like and providing peer-support to build confidence and reduce fears around the technology. They also purchased a number of tablets to lend to members and use within social sessions to support people to develop their skills and see the range of things they could do online.
Joining the Older People’s Digital Inclusion network has strengthened Holbeck Together’s partnerships with other organisations across the city, collaborating on the best approaches and sharing learning and resources. Developing session plans on searching for the best energy suppliers, applying for a bus pass online, ordering prescriptions, and looking how to shop and bank online safely.
K. visited Holbeck Together in January with a phone that he had no idea how to use. Over the following weeks we started with the basics and moved onto messaging and emails. His confidence improved and he felt much better about using his device, less anxious and was keen to learn more. We supported him to install the NHS app so he could check and re-order prescriptions and use the e-consult function.
Recently K. was able to use his online knowledge to renew his passport, adding and uploading his digital photo to the online service. He is continuing to visit the Digital Health Hub on a weekly basis and is planning a trip to Europe soon, all of which is being done online.Sean Flannigan, Digital Inclusion Officer, Holbeck Together
Over the last eight months, Holbeck Together have:
- Delivered 222 hours of bespoke 1-2-1 digital support sessions, arranged by appointment to enable people to get the most from each session
- Delivered 86 digital drop-in sessions for people who came into the community centre with a request for more immediate support
- Made tablets available to everyone attending social sessions and activities, with support from staff available if required
- Had positive conversations with 170 people to promote the use of digital tools and services
- Engaged 89 people in conversations promoting digital health tools and services
- Supported people to use NHS services online
Since I’ve been attending the digital health hub at Holbeck Together I’ve learned how to get online and use the internet. Without that help and guidance, I would have struggled to get to grips with modern technology. I attend weekly and I’m still finding it highly beneficial. The free SIM card they gave me through their data gifting scheme helps me stay in contact with everyone and stops me feeling isolated.A service user from Holbeck Together
Holbeck Together are developing their vision for the future of their digital health hub. This includes:
- Developing the skills and confidence of Digital Buddies in the appropriate use of digital technology to promote effective teaching and learning across all areas of the service and increasing their peer-support offer
- Improving access to digital technology in the community centre by opening a permanent onsite space and putting users’ needs at the centre of its design
- Continuing to work alongside partners through the Digital Inclusion Network and Beeston and Middleton Digital Health Hub Network to share best practice and improve ways to identify and ensure effective approaches to digital learning and access
- Continuing to empower users to enhance their levels of digital literacy, enabling them to thrive in a digital society and reach their full potential in relation to learning, life and work
We have a fantastic partnership with 100% Digital Leeds, it’s great to see how much our digital inclusion offer has developed in the past 2 years. We are continuing to address the needs of our community and supporting them to overcome barriers to digital inclusion.
We have seen the difference it’s made to so many people’s lives, increasing their social connections, their independence and their access to services and improving their health and wellbeing. We are looking forward to seeing what the next 12 month holds, and really value the support of 100% Digital Leeds.Sean Flannigan, Digital Inclusion Officer, Holbeck Together