Introduction and background
As a result of the Covid 19 pandemic, some Voluntary and Community sector groups across Stoke-on-Trent found the switch from face-to-face to online activities difficult to manage. They have struggled to remain in contact with their teams and their beneficiaries. This has been for several reasons including lack of technical equipment, appropriate software, skills, support, or confidence with technology.
Many groups and organisations have approached us for regular, ad-hoc, and intensive support to help them to continue to engage with and support their local communities. We have been successful in securing crucial Covid-19 emergency funding from the National Lottery Fund to help address the digital exclusion these groups are facing and to close the digital gap.
Physical digital space
We have set up well-equipped physical IT spaces that are accessible to voluntary organisations. These spaces provide hardware, software, and effective connectivity for groups to run Zoom meetings and online activities.
We have partnered with local organisations that provide training and training materials for VCSE groups in need of additional skills and education with digital technology to help reach group members remotely.
Volunteer Tech Buddies
Through our work with the Stoke on Trent Together Covid-19 response, we are aware of people who want to offer their time to support people with digital and technical progress.
In response to this, and to support the use of the physical and training resources, we have recruited volunteer tech buddies to work alongside those who need technical support.
During this project we produced some ‘how to’ videos to support the local VCSE.
An Impartial Guide to Digital Platforms and Apps
Setting up and using Zoom on a Desktop Device
An Setting up and using Zoom on a Mobile Device
Cloud storage and online file transfers