Digital Inclusion

Over the last 12 months a great deal of work has taken place in the Hall Green constituency to gather insight into local digital needs and gaps in provision and to set up projects to address these.

The Covid-19 pandemic and reduction in face to face community activities in 2020 prompted the Hall Green NNS to set up a Digital Working Group. To start with the group sent out surveys to community organisations and local citizens to find out more about their digital needs.

Digital Survey findings

Eighteen organisations and 96 local citizens completed the digital surveys. The key findings were:

Local citizens:

  • About 14- 20% of people have no access to the internet at all.
  • Approximately 50% of respondents who said they have access to the internet, are accessing the internet by sharing.
  • 30-40% of respondents indicate they need support to get online and be confident online with general day-to-day online activities like form filling, benefit information, skills development, applying for jobs etc.
  • 40-50% could do with assistance with equipment to connect online

Hall Green organisations:

  • A good proportion have developed online services (60%) but 40% or so of these have not felt it’s been well taken up and therefore need support with their online / digital offer.
  • Most of these would seem to have old and inefficient equipment, a lack of reserves to upgrade and a lack of IT support to develop it well.
  • 20-30% of them would likely be able to and be interested in being digital delivery partners.
  • 30-50% of the organisations would benefit from IT support/ training mainly around common software e.g. Excel, web development, Zoom etc.

Digital Skills training for Hall Green organisations

Hall Green NNS have commissioned Smartlyte to deliver a series of digital skills workshops for staff and volunteers from community organisations. The programme design has been informed by the findings from the Digital surveys and will be delivered in autumn 2021. We will keep you updated on full details of this training programme in due course.

New Digital Inclusion Projects

Below is a list of digital inclusion projects currently running in Hall Green. You can find out more about the Hall Green NNS small grants scheme which is open for applications and projects which were funded in 2020-21 on our grants page.

Digital Recycling Project– delivered by The Muath Trust (funded by Hall Green NNS)

The aim of this project is to help individuals to benefit from getting online within the Hall Green Constituency, areas include: Balsall Heath, Hall Green, Kings Heath, Moseley, Sparkhill and Sparkbrook.

The project will provide 200 eligible citizens with devices, data (where required) and support with training on their device. The project aims are to:

  • Develop links with local stakeholders to donate devices to the project.
  • Identify eligible local citizens who need access and connectivity to get online.
  • Develop a professional recycling centre that provides the relevant technical support to recycle devices. 
  • Provide support to device recipients to develop confidence and necessary skills to get online.

If you would like to donate a digital device or have any questions with regards to this Digital Recycling Project then please telephone: 0121 753 0297 (Mon – Fri, during office hours) or email support@muathtrust.org

Digital Champions Project – delivered by Smartlyte (funded by Hall Green NNS)

Smartlyte have received funding to run this project which will involve recruiting and training up to 50 digital champions in Hall Green who will support local citizens to develop their digital skills.

Up to 200 residents will be supported and will be offered up to four support calls after which they will be signposted to online courses to further develop their skills. Support will be focused on helping residents:

  • to get online to access essential services
  • with limited internet experience and who want to keep in contact with friends as well as get access to online shopping
  • who need help with online tasks such as banking, food shopping, making GP appointments and  staying in touch with friends and family.

The project will also involve the development of various help guides /videos to support volunteers and service users.

National Databank Project – delivered by Smartlyte and Get Families Talking

The National Databank is an exciting new initiative delivered by Smartlyte and Get Families Talking in partnership with Virgin Media O2 and The Good Things Foundation, which aims to provide a solution to the UK’s digital inequality by providing FREE mobile data to those who need it.

Managed through a central hub, Smartlyte will support individuals on low and very low income to access data via free voucher codes and SIM cards. There will also be additional support to those who have accessed the data through digital skills training.

To register for the service please visit the Get Families Talking website.