What do we mean by digital inclusion?
Digital inclusion is about ensuring people are able to use the internet and online technologies to meet their needs. This includes:
Infrastructure – being able to afford or have access to a device (whether a mobile phone, tablet or computer), as well as being able to afford or have access to the internet through broadband, Wi-Fi or mobile data.
Skills – having the ability, confidence and digital skills to use digital devices and the internet. –
Accessibility – having access to services that are designed to meet users' needs, including for individuals with disabilities that require assistive technology to get online.
News & Events
Tackling the Digital Divide
In November 21, we held 2 one-hour workshops with senior citizens in our parish, to listen to their experience of the last 18 months and to get a sense of what they have found challenging about 'going digital'. This is a joint initiative between the Parish Council, Cheltenham Borough Homes, Charlton Kings Library and the Senior Citizens Welfare Committee.
Firstly, we asked the groups which digital devices they had access to – phone, ipad/tablet, laptop or desktop - secondly we asked if they did not have access to any of these devices, what would they like to have access to. We also asked what they would like to use the internet for e.g online shopping, banking, doctor's appointments, social media etc.
Listening to and understanding the very different needs and levels of skill across our groups of senior citizens will allow us to come up with a plan of action for 2022. The plan will involve collaboration between our existing partners, community volunteers and other service providers such as Adult Education Gloucestershire. The idea is to offer our residents a one-to-one tailored programme of 'upskilling', as a first step in tackling the digital divide. This is an initiative to ensure that age, disability, income, education or where you live are not barriers to online inclusion.
As part of the Council's Digital Inclusion project, we were delighted to welcome the DigiBus to Church Piece in Charlton Kings for 2 days in March. The DigiBus is an accessible converted double-decker bus packed with digital technology for visitors to explore. Over the 2 days, the Digibus offered IT based tutorials to individuals and small groups covering a wide range of areas, such as setting up email accounts, online shopping, social connection, especially Zoom and Facetime functionality, accessing community information and relevant websites, including social media platforms.
Going forward we are hoping to build on the success of the Digibus event, and provide continuity of the Parish Council's digital inclusion programme. This will include;
• Maintaining delivery of Adult Education Gloucestershire led digital skills building courses in the Parish Council Offices
• Developing digital skills support programmes 'in-house', within senior citizens housing association complex's, working with all relevant providers, including Cheltenham Borough Homes and Adult Education Gloucestershire
• Organising a volunteer campaign with local library to develop regular 'drop in' advice/help sessions
• Accepting the offer from DigiBus to return to Charlton Kings later in the year – possibly at the alternative location of Holy Apostles or Sixways
For further details on any of the Digital Inclusion activities, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org