Digital inclusion for vulnerable residents

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    What steps are being taken to enable vulnerable residents to access online support, including health, financial and wellbeing support?


    The Good Things Foundation site Learn my Way have some online resources, from the basics of using a device, to managing money online-


    Hello! – A message from We Are Digital

    In light of the COVID-19 outbreak and the uncertainty and disruption it has caused, I wanted to send a message of support to all the Housing Associations and Local Authorities we have recently been in contact with, to reassure you that We Are Digital is still very much open for business, and actually, able to HELP.

    Many organisations have been telling us that the need for the type of support that we run (digital inclusion, financial inclusion, debt advice etc.) is now even MORE important than ever, as people will have a greater need to be online (as reduction in face-to-face contact is being advised) and their digital and monetary situation may worsen, especially if they were in difficulty beforehand. This is even more apparent given the government’s news this week that 1.5 million vulnerable people will be isolated at home.

    We have always prided ourselves in being a responsive and agile business. Undoubtedly the current situation represents a huge challenge for us all, but it is one we are determined to rise to. As a digital business (and focused on those in need), we have the ability to continue to operate as usual and step in to help your residents and customers

    What can we do for your residents and customers right now?

    Responding to the current situation and unprecedented client demand, we are converting our services and support across all departments to remote training and support. This can include, for your residents and customers:
    • Doing online banking (with branches potentially shutting)
    • Communicating through chat and video tools (due to social distancing)
    • Having GP appointments by video (given GP surgeries shutting)
    • Debt advice and financial wellbeing support over the phone (as no f2f centres available)
    • Shopping online (due to shortages in stores and travel restriction)
    • Utilising your housing portals (rent and repairs online)
    • Government transactions online and on the phone (visas, tax, benefits such as UC)
    • Call centre overflow (our contact centre is used to dealing with housing residents) if yours are at capacity
    • Internet safety (phishing, etc)
    We have one of the largest trainer networks in the UK for remote training, we have a new logistics centre being ramped up (so can handle the sending and receiving of IT equipment for remote sessions), and our contact centre is currently increasing capacity, to triage calls and make bookings. All of our supply chain partners (e.g. CABs and local centres) are also able to give advice over the phone such as debt advice, financial wellbeing work and any online transaction guide through. Our higher-level employability courses for younger residents (DI Boost) are also able to be delivered fully remotely as distance learning.

    To find out how we can support Housing Association or Local Authority and your residents and customers through this difficult time, please do not hesitate to book a call appointment with us by copying this link in to your browser –
    Or get in touch via e-mail –
    Or if calling is easier you can get through on 03333 444 019 selecting Option 4.

    Kind regards,
    Kat Beirne
    Digital & Financial Inclusion Account Manager
    Friars House | Manor House Drive | Coventry | CV1 2TE
    Future Business Centre | 18 London Lane | London | E8 3PR


    Hi everyone,

    I just read this great piece from JRF on how digital exclusion effects low income communities.This blog written by the APLE Collective, is part of a series which discusses the lived experience of people trapped in poverty and living through the COVID-19 lockdown.

    Here’s an extract from the blog:

    “The digital divide doesn’t just mean having access to wifi, but the ability to pay for it. Our communities who live on a low income or social security benefits are unable to pay for this access. The digital divide also incurs expenses when paying for hardware (computers and devices) and finally people may not have the opportunity to access support to help them use technology.

    We ask the Government to find practical solutions to cross the digital divide and introduce free wifi for vulnerable low-income groups. According to the Office for National Statistics, ‘in 2018 there were still 5.3 million adults in the UK, or 10.0% of the adult UK population’ who are non-internet users.”


    Accessing the internet has always been an uphill battle for people in poverty. Aple Collective, a national collective of individuals who experience poverty, has recently written a blog on the digital disconnect for people on low incomes.

    The Disconnect: Swallowing Pride and Feeling Locked Out –

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