Agenda item

The Rotherham Place Digital Inclusion Strategy

Helen Barker, RMBC, and Andrew Clayton, ICB, to share the recently finalised Digital Inclusion Strategy

(Appendix 1 is included in the “For Information” document pack


Helen Barker, Head of Customer Service, gave the following powerpoint presentation focussing on health aspects, together with Andrew Clayton, Head of Digital NHS South Yorkshire):-



¾     Digital Inclusion Programme established June 2021

¾     Stakeholder group/governance in place September 2021

¾     ‘Digital Inclusion Review – Rotherham Place’

Requirements signed off by stakeholder group October 2021

Consultation started with residents and organisations January 2022

Report finalised May 2022

¾     Development of the Digital Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan

Findings of review shared with key stakeholders June-August 2021

Initial draft strategy complete November 2022

Action plan workshop held December 2022

Action plan finalised February 2023

¾     Endorsement and Support

Rotherham Place Board April 2023

Rotherham Together Partnership Board May 2023

Health and Wellbeing Board September 2023


Digital Inclusion Review – Rotherham Place

Key Findings

¾         Groups most at high risk of digital inclusion

Older people


LTD/Learning Disability

Disadvantaged young people

¾         Areas considered to be most high risk

East Herringthorpe

Rotherham Central

Maltby East

¾         Common barriers to digital inclusion

Internet availability

Device availability

Language barriers

Lack of digital skills

Worried about being safe online


Digital Inclusion Rotherham Place Strategy


¾     A Digital Inclusion Strategy that delivers outcomes which target Rotherham’s most digitally excluded


Underlaying Principles

¾     Person centric

      Focus on the things that matter to people who live, work and do business in Rotherham

¾     Easy for people to understand and relate to

      Clear, simple, accessible and jargon free

¾     Mobilise and empower people and communities

      Inform, educate, support, volunteer, keep safe

¾     Target intervention

      Embed across the Rotherham Place to reduce risk of digital exclusion


Digital Inclusion Action Plan


¾     Target priority areas and communities to maximise impact

¾     Implement actions that reduce/remove barriers to digital inclusion

¾     Use a framework for evaluating and measuring impact and outcomes


Activities already underway

¾     RNN Digital Champions

¾     Good Things Databank Pilot

¾     ICT Classes and Employability classes for residents

¾     Rotherham Digital website


Planned Activities

¾     Appoint 2 FTE Digital Inclusion Support Officers

¾     Communication and engagement

¾     Create ‘digital surgeries’ in libraries and community centres in East Herringthorpe, Rotherham Central, Thrybergh and Maltby East

¾     Work with partners to expand resident access to technology – wifi, devices, assistive technology


Communications and Engagement

Key Messages

¾     We are putting communities at the heart of everything we do

¾     We have listened to what you told us – Digital Inclusion Strategy focussing on the things that mattered to local people

¾     Everyone should be able to benefit from technology – this was what was being done to help those who were most at risk from feeling digitally excluded/isolated



¾     Make best use of already established stakeholder relationships/community-based initiatives

¾     Use both printed and digital materials to promote the offer

¾     Target people already digitally active via social media, website information, email subscriber lists – with information they could share with family/friends who were not online

¾     Include information in community/sector based newsletters

¾     Promote digital inclusion organisationally

¾     Use the ‘Rotherham Digital’ website as the source of information for digital inclusion help, advice, details of event/activities and practical information such as where to access free wifi

¾     Make use of all media outlets to promote initiatives that we are involved in


Discussion ensued with the following issues raised/clarified:-


·        The Programme’s overarching objective was to deliver strategies, governance and operational practices that maximised access to technology, training and support for the people, small businesses and organisations across the Rotherham Borough

·        It was very much a collaborative and partnership initiative.  A cross organisational stakeholder working group had been established to jointly input into and shape the aims and outcomes of the Digital Inclusion Programme ensuring the needs of all customer and communities within the Rotherham place were fully considered and represented in all digital inclusion activities and reflected within a future co-designed Digital Inclusion Strategy

·        18 student volunteers, recruited from Rotherham College, had been matched to a group local to where they lived to gain experience of working with local people and help them make better use of technology

·        Good Things Databank Pilot – the Good Things Foundation offered free sim cards to organisations through their Databank programme.  It was a national programme designed to support people on low income who had limited/no access to online services.  The scheme was being piloted from Riverside House library


Resolved:-  (1)  That the progress of the Rotherham Digital Inclusion Programme to date be noted.


(2)  That the programme and the approach being taken to improve digital inclusion across the Borough of Rotherham continue to be supported.


(3)  That the intention of the Rotherham Digital Inclusion Stakeholder Group to deliver the actions outlined in the action plan be noted.


(4)  That the intention of the Rotherham Digital Inclusion Stakeholder Group to keep the Health and Wellbeing Board, Place Board and Rotherham Together Partnership Board informed of progress on a periodic basis be noted.

Supporting documents: