Voting Opens for Hertfordshire’s Digital Exclusion Project

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Vote for ‘Staying Connected’ in the People’s Choice voice before 10 March.

Hertfordshire’s Staying Connected project has been shortlisted into the top 3 in the Digital Poverty category for the 6th Digital Leaders Impact Awards 2022. With almost 500 entries this year, competition was fiercer than ever before, so they are delighted to have been shortlisted.

Staying Connected is a multi-partner Hertfordshire-wide programme addressing digital exclusion. The Covid pandemic has thrown to light (and made more intense) the mental health struggles related to inclusion and participation, particularly with the older generation who have not been able to see family and friends since March 2020 and are feeling more isolated as time goes on. Staying Connected is Hertfordshire wide, delivered by a partnership of CVS’s across the county.

The project approaches businesses to donate unwanted IT equipment such as laptops and tablets, which they then securely wipe, repurpose and distribute out to those identified as in need. They are also using their network of the hundreds of volunteers who have signed up since the first lockdown to become an army of Digital Champions to support those new to technology to build confidence and ensure their new equipment has a positive impact on their health.

This two-year programme repurposes redundant IT equipment that is gifted to vulnerable people, who are supported to get online to improve their health. Funded by The Captain Tom Foundation, NHS Charities Together, and Hertfordshire County Council, the programme addresses digital poverty by tackling lack of equipment, connectivity, confidence and skills.

There are three finalists in each category and now it is open to a ‘People’s Choice’. Vote at: The organisers of the awards will be retweeting/reposting anything shared on social media – so please tag them at @DigiLeaders.

The winners in each category will then be announced as part of the Impact Awards Ceremony on 10 March at the Ministry of Sound in London.

The Staying Connected Project is a partnership between Community Action Dacorum (who lead the project) and Communities 1st, Broxbourne and East Herts CVS, Welwyn and Hatfield CVS, North Herts CVS and W3RT.

Community Action Dacorum is a charity that provides a circle of support to the local community. As a council for voluntary service, they believe in bringing people together to achieve more in their communities and improve quality of life.