Young people are not digital natives. Those who are vulnerable, particularly those at points of transition in their life (unemployed, homeless, in care, in secure accommodation, excluded from mainstream education, seeking asylum) are most at risk of slipping through the net and falling outside the digital mainstream.
The #NotWithoutMe programme has been established to challenge digital exclusion for vulnerable young people and advocate for further digital support for young people across the UK and Ireland. The programme is made up of several supporting strands of work:
- The #NotWithoutMe Accelerator: was an innovative development programme which offered a six-month programme of training, support and £3,000 development funding to six UK organisations. Your Own Place were successful in receiving funding from the #NotWithoutMe Accelerator to deliver their digital inclusion initiative. You can read the evaluation of the approach undertaken by Revealing Reality, here.
- Glasgow Digital Resilience Group participation: the Carnegie UK Trust is a member of the Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnerships ‘Digital Resilience Group’ which is currently focused on digital technology and skills provision for looked after children and young people across the Glasgow area. A report exploring the current digital experiences of a group of young people is available here: Digital Resilience, Inclusion & Wellbeing for Looked after Children & Young People.
- Digital Research: building on the first #NotWithoutMe report ‘A digital world for all?’, we will continue to seek opportunities to produce useful and robust research on digital exclusion. We are currently working with Good Things Foundation on a new project to explore key digital inclusion challenges and opportunities for those who have English as an additional language. The research is investigating a new blended approach to learning, improving access to basic digital skills, language skills and confidence. The practice report “Supporting digital inclusion of adults with low English language skills” is available here.
- Networking and Communications: the programme aims to support the community of practitioners working in relevant areas of policy, practice and academia through events and networking opportunities through our #NotWithoutMe Labs. Our current focus is on the development of effective digital safeguarding policies.
Digital Access for All
Since early 2018 a number of leading organisations from the tech sector, charity and Government have come together to explore the issue of digital access. Digital Access for All recognises the excellent work being done across the UK in the area of digital skills and the inclusion agenda. However evidence shows that there are still many children, young people and their families without adequate access to digital, and Digital Access for All seeks to address that.
The impact of not being online at home perpetuates and expands the divide and the disadvantage that these families face. As a leading digital nation, the UK needs to ensure that all of its citizens are able to engage, participate and benefit from everything that being online can offer, from learning and skills development to job hunting and accessing government and other key digital services.
Launched formally in February 2019, the Digital Access for All programme was initiated by The Learning Foundation, a consultancy with a social purpose and Nominet, who are partnering with ourselves the Carnegie UK Trust, and a range of other partners including Good Things Foundation, Intel, Microsoft, Lloyds Banking Group, Computer Recyclers, Argos, Greater London Authority and BT.
As part of our work relating to Digital Access for All, we produced a report and info-sheets titled Switched On which brings together research and evidence about key issues related to digital inclusion, with a particular focus on children and young people. You can find the links to Switched On below.