Cambridgeshire Digital Partnership – we’re off!  

By Sally Page. Digital Partnership Co-ordinator and CCVS Development Worker. October 15, 2021

I can’t quite believe how much has happened since I introduced myself as the partnership’s new coordinator, it seems fitting to mark the start of Get Online Week with an update. Settle in and I’ll tell you how Cambridgeshire Digital Partnership (CDP) set-up as an unincorporated association, are launching a membership offer, planned a virtual conference, that starts tomorrow (Oct 19th) oh, and built a new website. We’ve certainly been busy! 

Setting up and our membership  

Over the past few months, the Steering Group for CDP have been meeting to decide how to continue the conversation around digital exclusion in our region and how the partnership could help to lead change. 

Today marks the first step, as CDP are set-up as an unincorporated association and have launched a membership offer, that any organisation working around digital inclusion or exclusion in Cambridgeshire can join. The membership will be free, until at least April 2022, and by joining, organisations will receive invitations to network meetings, a quarterly newsletter and help to shape how CDP can proactively tackle the digital divide in Cambridgeshire going forward.  

There is a lot to do, but this is a step in the right direction, join us! 

#CamsDigiWeek  

We are very excited to kick off our virtual conference with Cam Sight and Cambridgeshire Deaf Association, who will be introducing digital tools that could help your organisation to become more accessible and inclusive.  

It’s been a great month or two, working with the Steering Group to arrange a whole host of speakers from organisations including; Good Things FoundationWinter ComfortCare NetworkCambridge Youth PanelIt Takes a CityCambridge Online and Cambridge University’s Centre for Housing Research. With such a range of organisations taking part, it’s clear that the digital divide is something that is relevant across the board and it’s essential that we come together to share experience, knowledge, and ideas.  

If you haven’t already got your free tickets, don’t hesitate, book now.  

We have a shiny new website! 

Last, but certainly not least, I have been beavering away, developing my own digital skills, by building the partnership a new website. It’s been an amazing project to be involved in, and whilst it has been a little daunting at times, I’m delighted that CDP have a place to easily share news, resources, and events, as well as a route for organisations to join CDP by becoming members. 

Take a look and get in touch with any feedback, we’re all learning after all.  

Email: hello@cambridgeshiredigitalpartnership.org.uk  

Website: www.cambridgeshiredigitalpartnership.org.uk 

Twitter: @CambsDigi 

Cambridgeshire Digital Partnership, this is only the beginning

Picture shows Andrew Entecott, CEO for Cambridge Online and Sally Page, CDP Coordinator, at a socially distanced meeting.

Hello! Firstly, let me introduce myself. I’m Sally and like many, I wear a couple of hats. I have two part-time jobs with CCVS, as a Development Worker and Cambridgeshire Digital Partnership Coordinator. I have been in the coordinator role for about a month. As I am settling in, I would like to share a little about the partnership, why I am so excited to be involved and why you should watch this space.

The Cambridgeshire Digital Partnership (CDP) is a network, currently made up of six Cambridgeshire based organisations, who are working around digital exclusion. At the moment we are; Cambridge Online, Cambridge Youth Panel, Cambridgeshire Libraries, the CHS Group, the New Horizons service and CCVS. At regular steering group meetings, each organisation shares knowledge, resources, and skills. They, like many, have had a very busy year.

The Covid-19 pandemic saw work around digital exclusion pick up pace. As we stayed home to reduce the spread of the virus, millions across the country found themselves disconnected from their education, communities, and support services. Many did not have digital skills, access to kit or internet connection. It was the local charities and organisations, who acted quickly to try and reach and support the most vulnerable. In Cambridge alone, over a thousand laptops were repurposed and delivered to people without devices, and this is just one example of how organisations stepped up.     

During the pandemic, the partnership has worked together to raise awareness of the digital divide in Cambridgeshire, to enable and encourage joined-up action. In addition to their day to day work they set up this website, social media and facilitated conversations across the sector, through an online conference, but that was only the beginning.

I have joined at a time when the steering group are thinking about the future, what the partnership is, whatit should become and how it could best enable change. The digital divide is a social issue that was there before Covid-19. It has been accelerated by the pandemic and given a more prominent, national profile. There is a need to maintain this momentum and to develop a strong, joined-up local response.

We will need your help with this.

We will soon be raising our voice, reaching out to more organisations, asking them to join the conversation. So, watch this space, follow us on @CambsDigi and let’s tackle the digital divide together.

Get in touch with Sally via email: hello@cambridgeshiredigitalpartnership.org.uk

The Cambridgeshire Digital Partnership is supported by: