Overview

09 Mar, 20229:30 am-1:00 pm10 Mar, 20229:30 am-1:00 pm
Online Conference

This Forum will provide attendees with an opportunity to review the latest updates and initiatives being implemented to boost digital skills and improve social inclusion across the UK. Participants will hear from key stakeholders, including the APPG on Digital Skills, MHCLG and The Good Things Foundation, on the impact of covid-19 on government’s digital skills strategy. Furthermore, best practice case studies will discuss how to deliver innovative targeted programmes for local groups at risk of exclusion through collaborative multi-agency partnerships.

Watch this video to find out more about the online conference experience.

In 2021, 10 million UK adult citizens are lacking basic digital skills (Digital Nation 2021, Good Things Foundation) and Covid-19 has increased exponentially the importance of getting online. It is therefore essential that local government agencies and voluntary organisations come together to tackle the digital divide. Today, booking a doctor’s appointment, accessing emergency support, or doing your homework is extremely difficult without an internet connection. Covid-19 has only accelerated digitalisation, increasing the accessibility burden the most vulnerable already faced.

This forum aims to tackle the digital gap by considering how local government, housing associations, charities and education sector organisations can work in partnership to boost digital skills and tackle isolation in a modern digital society. Through a series of keynote speeches and interactive sessions, the forum will be an opportunity to explore how to achieve a fully digitally inclusive future through providing digital skills and access for residents, staff, and local businesses.

Key Features of an Online IG Conference

  • Match making networking and live delegate meet ups
  • Replay functions so you never miss a session
  • Live chat, questioning and polling tools
  • Real time resources and presentations
  • Topic based discussion groups
  • Next generation conference engagement platform

Key Speakers

Emma Weston OBE photo
Emma Weston OBE
Chief Executive and Founder
Digital Unite
Senior Representative photo
Senior Representative
Citizens Online

Other Speakers

James Carroll photo
James Carroll
Digital Recovery College Deputy Manager and Digital Inclusion Coordinator
St Mungo's
Richard Martin photo
Richard Martin
Digital Transformation Network Lead
London Grid for Learning

Agenda

  • March 9th
  • March 10th
9:00 am
Login and Accessing Online Event Platform

Throughout the Conference you will be able to make use of:

  • Match making networking and live delegate meet ups
  • Replay functions so you never miss a session
  • Live chat, questioning and polling tools
  • Real time resources and presentations
  • A next generation conference engagement platform
9:30 am
Chair’s Welcome Address
Dr Kira Allmann
Dr Kira Allmann
Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Media Law & Policy
University of Oxford
Invited
9:45 am
Understanding the Government’s Digital Strategy

The estimated number of adults in the UK lacking any basic digital skills has decreased from 12.6 million in 2014 to 10 million in 2021, showing positive progress on the goal to get everyone online. As the pandemic hit, accelerated digitalisation, and increased the burden the digital divide is on those facing digital exclusion, reaching this target is more important than ever. The Digital Skills Partnerships introduced in February 2021 have already had a range of positive outcomes moving towards achieving full digital inclusion.

  • Evaluate why digital inclusion is more important than ever before and the next steps in the Government’s Strategy post-Covid-19
  • Examine the outcomes of the Digital Skills Partnerships for both individuals, communities, local businesses, and public sector partners
  • Address the Government’s response to the unprecedented wave of digitalisation brought on by Covid-19, including new funding available through the Local Digital Skills Partnerships

This session will include time for questions.

David Caldwell
David Caldwell
Head of Accessibility and Inclusion
Home Office
Invited
10:15 am
Using the power of community volunteers to reach hard-to-reach groups and widen digital participation

Most digital champions are community-based volunteers who provide invaluable support and essential training sessions within organisations tackling inequalities. This session will cover the importance of working with these digital champions as an asset for community outreach so that everyone can benefit from the internet and from digital skills.

  • Evaluate how to best recruit and manage volunteer digital champions within your organisation
  • Examine community outreach strategies to provide support for the most marginalised members of our communities, who may have specific access needs linked to disabilities, mental health issues, language, or other needs
  • Learn how you can work in partnership with other local organisations and digital champions to access as many people who need support as possible

This session will include time for questions.

Emma Weston OBE
Emma Weston OBE
Chief Executive and Founder
Digital Unite
Confirmed
10:45 am
Outlining How Best to Work in Partnership to Bridge the Digital Divide

As all areas of life are increasingly digitalised, it is vital that no one is left behind, lacking the skills or access needed to fully participate in the digital age. This session will focus on the roles of different agencies in ensuring that no one is excluded, and how housing, education, health, local government, and charity organisations can work in partnership to achieve this and cover all support needs to achieve full digital inclusion.

  • What are the main strategies which will help us reach full digital inclusion?
  • What are the roles of different agencies in working with the digitally excluded?
  • How can they form working partnerships in order to widen their reach and ensure that the skills and technology they impart are appropriate for all areas of people’s lives?

This session will include time for questions.

Helen Milner OBE
Helen Milner OBE
Chief Executive
The Good Things Foundation
Confirmed
11:15 am
Break, Virtual Networking, and Live Delegate Meet-Ups

Your opportunity to make the most of the virtual Conference, meet up with fellow delegates, make connections, tour our real-time resources and content and take part on discussions via the tailored channels.

Don’t forget if you’ve missed a session, you can use our replay functions, so you can watch all the content on demand at a time that suits you.

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11:35 am
Providing Digital Skills to Improve People’s Mental and Physical Wellbeing

People with low digital literacy are at greater risk of poorer health outcomes, so it is essential that while all areas of life are increasingly digitalised (including our visits to the doctor, and how we search for healthcare information and educate ourselves about our health) no one should be left behind.

  • Explore how acquiring digital skills can promote the mental and physical health of vulnerable and marginalised members of our communities and the importance of building digital inclusion into primary care services
  • Examine multiagency collaborative working between healthcare, public sector, and voluntary organisations to maximise the impact of shared learning, approaches and budgets
  • Understand how to build digital inclusion into primary care services to improve health outcomes

This session will include time for questions.

Annie Cunningham
Annie Cunningham
Project Manager Digital Inclusion and Engagement
Manchester Health & Care Commissioning
Invited
12:05 pm
Panel Discussion: De-mystifying Digital for Those Who Don’t See the Point of Getting Online

As some people still struggle to see the benefits that going digital can bring them, it is important that we find ways to engage them and demystify digital tools and the internet. In this discussion our panellists will explore ways to engage members of our communities who remain unsure of their ability to use digital tools, or the benefits they can gain from accessing the internet.

  • Examine the use of person-centred, goals-focused models to engage those with mental health issues, to prevent no-shows at training sessions
  • Explore strategies to frame digital skills training sessions to ensure they appeal to hard-to-reach groups, for example by focusing on specific beneficial outcomes for service users
  • Discuss the use of remote, face-to-face, and hybrid training to engage users in the post-Covid environment

Participate in the discussion through our live chat feature.

Steph Noyce
Steph Noyce
Head of Money and Digital
Clarion Futures
Confirmed
Caspar Kennerdale
Caspar Kennerdale
Managing Director
Clear Community Web
Confirmed
Hajar Afdal
Hajar Afdal
Digital Inclusion Coordinator
Women for Refugee Women
Invited
Jack Fitzgerald
Jack Fitzgerald
Digital Inclusion Coordinator
Manchester City Council
Invited
12:55 pm
Chair's Close to Day 1
9:00 am
Login and Accessing Online Event Platform
9:30 am
Chair's Welcome Address
Dr Kira Allmann
Dr Kira Allmann
Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Media Law & Policy
University of Oxford
Invited
9:40 am
Delivering Socially Inclusive Digital Solutions Within Local Government

As Covid-19 lockdowns accelerated the adoption of digital services, and some services continue to be delivered digitally for the foreseeable future, it is vital that local councils act to ensure everyone in their community has access to the digital services and knowledge of the digital skills needed in the post-Covid environment. This session will focus on strategies to guarantee that connectivity, technology devices, and skills support are accessible and affordable for everyone at the local scale.

  • Examine how local partnerships with private sector providers can work to maximise connectivity in your local area boosting social inclusion and local growth
  • Learn about offering connectivity at affordable prices for all through grants and subsidised data for the most marginalised sections of the community
  • Collaborating to ensure digital skills support is there for those who need it so that everyone can benefit fully from access to the internet

This session will include time for questions.

May-N Leow
May-N Leow
Head of Local Digital Collaboration Unit
Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities
Invited
10:10 am
Future Proofing Your Organisation: Providing Comprehensive Digital Upskilling for Your Staff

To ensure that all your staff have the skills they need to successfully carry out their work, and support customers in need of help when accessing your website, it is essential that all members of an organisation have the necessary digital knowledge.

  • Understanding how a digitally equipped workforce will transform your organisation and help you achieve your long-term goals
  • Tips on boosting staff confidence and attitude towards digital tools, so that they can confidently assist customers in need
  • How to deliver effective training to ensure your organisation remains up to date in the face of constant change in software and technology

This session will include time for questions.

Gori Yahaya
Gori Yahaya
Founder and CEO
UpSkill Digital
Invited
10:40 am
Sharing Insights from St Mungo’s Digital Recovery College: Digital Skills as a Path to Independence and Employment

Explore how digital skills training can be delivered to vulnerable and excluded clients, serving as a catalyst to finding independence, employment and social integration. This case study session will offer practical guidance on engaging the most marginalised members of our communities and engaging them around the creative, professional, and social possibilities digital access offers.

  • Practical guidance on engaging the most vulnerable members of local communities through skills sessions to build essential digital knowledge as well as creative skills including using digital art applications and YouTube
  • Focus on ways to build transferrable digital skills as a tool to achieve social inclusion and increase employability
  • Examine how specific training can serve digitally excluded unemployed members of your communities, for example through learning how to fill out online applications, or social media skills, such as the use of LinkedIn

This session will include time for questions.

James Carroll
James Carroll
Digital Recovery College Deputy Manager and Digital Inclusion Coordinator
St Mungo's
Confirmed
11:10 am
Break, Virtual Networking, and Live Delegate Meet-Ups

Your opportunity to make the most of the virtual Conference, meet up with fellow delegates, make connections, tour our real-time resources and content and take part on discussions via the tailored channels.

Don’t forget if you’ve missed a session, you can use our replay functions, so you can watch all the content on demand at a time that suits you.

11:30 am
Interactive Workshop Sessions

You will have the option of joining one of three interactive breakout skills sessions. These will focus on:

  • Examining strategies to assist children in need of digital access support
  • Providing you with the skills necessary to improve local economic growth supporting SME’s to get online
  • Sharing best practice in delivering frontline support services to tackle loneliness and exclusion
Tech & Digital Access for Children
Digital Skills for SMEs & Local Growth
Fighting Loneliness & Exclusion
Skills Session: Partnership Working to Assist Children in Need of Digital Support

Disparities in digital access exacerbate disparities in children’s school results and future prospects. It is essential that all children have access to the digital tools they need to understand and master for their present learning but also for their future academic, professional, and personal lives.

  • Explore strategies and funding avenues to provide all children with the tech tools they need
  • Examine school policies to ensure disadvantaged pupils have access to the digital equipment and connectivity they need to study and gain necessary tech skills
Richard Martin
Richard Martin
Digital Transformation Network Lead
London Grid for Learning
Confirmed
Skills Session: Successful Strategies to Get Small Businesses Online and Boost Local Development

As markets become increasingly digitalised, supporting small, local businesses to establish an online presence can be key to maintaining local growth and economic development. This skills session will focus on developing strategies to get local businesses online so that they can remain competitive and thrive within a digitalised economy.

  • Evaluate the need for digital support for SMEs in your area and how this can impact economic growth
  • Learn about the key needs and learning outcomes when delivering digital upskilling sessions for SMEs
Heather Dean
Heather Dean
Head of Skills and Business Support
Buckinghamshire Business First
Invited
Skills session: Providing frontline digital community services to support excluded citizens and tackle loneliness

As better digital skills coincide with greater levels of social support and better mental health outcomes, it is vital that local organisations work in partnership to ensure vital digital skills provision within every community. This workshop will focus on establishing community skills groups and reaching the digitally excluded.

  • Evaluate the key outcomes for a community digital skills group including how this can doubly combat loneliness through establishing social connections and digital communication links
  • Examine levels of need in your local area, and how to reach digitally excluded citizens with specific accessibility needs, such as people with disabilities, homeless people, and the elderly
Clare Redfern
Clare Redfern
Communities Manager
Stockport Council
Invited
12:15 pm
Looking to the Future and Building Socially Inclusive Long-Term Digital Inclusion Strategies

As digitalisation of all services increases, we need to ensure that no individual or community is left behind, and that the next generation is equipped with solid digital skills and access to the technology they need for healthy and fulfilled lives, and thriving communities. This session will explore long-term strategies to make sure digital exclusion becomes a thing of the past.

  • Explore how a fully digitally inclusive future can be achieved through cross-sector partnerships to fill gaps in resource provision, reach all members of our communities, and address all areas of exclusion
  • Evaluate long-term solutions, such as data-sharing projects, to eradicate data-poverty so that everyone can affordably access the digital connectivity required for modern life
  • Examine the benefits of taking an evidence-based approach to digital inclusion to ensure that your strategy covers all areas of needs and anticipates future digital transformation

This session will include time for questions.

Senior Representative
Senior Representative
Citizens Online
Confirmed
12:45 pm
Chair's Close to the Forum

Audience

This conference is specifically designed to be a multi-sector event including Local Government, Central Government, Housing, Voluntary and Higher and Further Education sectors. Those in attendance with include:

  • Digital Inclusion Officers
  • Directors of Digital Transformation
  • Heads of Digital
  • Heads of Organisational Development
  • Community Engagement and Involvement Officers
  • Community and Regeneration Officers
  • Customer Experience Managers
  • Community Development Officers
  • Community Learning Coordinators
  • Digital Learning Managers

Pricing

  • Public Sector Rate (Local & Central Gov/ Housing)
    £295 + VAT
  • Voluntary Sector Rate (Large - £1Million+ Annual Income)
    £245 + VAT
  • Voluntary Sector Rate (Small- Under £1Million Annual Income)
    £195 + VAT
  • Private Sector Rate
    £395 + VAT