Bringing digital connectivity to rural North Yorkshire

hands using mobile phone in a field
Digital Inclusion Networking Project

The Digital Inclusion Networking Project looked at how services could be improved by connecting users online, and sought to enhance digital services with the provision of support.

We worked alongside Humber and Wolds Rural Action to create a Digital Inclusion Network which covered the whole of the Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board. This area stretches along the east coast from Scarborough to Cleethorpes and along both banks of the Humber and incorporates the cities of Hull and York. The area also covers rural areas across East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.

The Network brought digital inclusion representatives together from across the voluntary, community and social enterprises sector (VCSE), the public sector and the private sector. Our aim was to support and empower people to improve their levels of care and create a healthier population by getting them online so that they could access care and information.

We helped organisations that support a variety of people – from refugees, to people in need of care and medical support – to get them online and increase their digital knowledge. Such a step helped them to apply for jobs online, access health and care services, and simply connect with their families.

What did the Digital Inclusion Network do?

Through the online weekly meetings, emails and monthly enewsletter, we supported the Network to:

  • consider the Core Principles for Digital Inclusion from the Integrated Health and Care Partnership
  • shared best practice, tools and resources
  • celebrated stories of digital inclusion such as Digital Health Hubs
  • highlighted digital exclusion so that barriers to digital usage could be addressed
  • identified the barriers faced by niche communities of interest
  • considered the needs of those who could never be able or willing to become digitally included
  • encouraged the recruitment and use of digital champions/buddies/mentors/friends
  • ensured duplication was avoided and worked to plug gaps in services.

Michael Fletcher |  | 01904 704177