End Digital Poverty Day is a nationwide initiative dedicated to raising awareness about the pressing issue of digital poverty in the UK. KeyRing will join with other organisations in a collective effort to work towards ending digital poverty and empowering individuals and communities.
The Crisis of Digital Poverty
We define digital poverty as the inability to interact with the online world fully, when where and how an individual needs to.
Access to digital enables KeyRing Members to connect, learn, work, and access vital services. More than ever, not having access to the digital world means not having access to fundamentals of life, with a significant portion of the UK population lacking the necessary resources to participate fully in the digital world.
Digital exclusion can exacerbate existing inequalities in society or introduce new inequalities. Those without access to digital resources face barriers in education, employment opportunities, healthcare, and social inclusion.
What is KeyRing doing?
Our internal Creating Connections Digital Inclusion programme regularly accesses the national databank and national device bank to ensure that any devices/equipment sent out comes data enabled. We have been very successful in applying for free data sim cards through Vodafone. We continue to collaborate with partners such as Abilitynet and GM Digital locality leads to make a difference to Members locally accessing digital resources and support including knowledge and access to social tariffs for data and broadband.
Digital Case Studies
My mobile phone lets me be independent, and it keeps me safe…
I received a smart phone via KeyRing’s Creating Connections project.
I use my mobile phone every day and I could not manage without it. I think that it is really important that everyone is able to have access to the internet etc. We seem to need to have access to the internet more and more these days.
I think that mobile phones keep us safe as well, and that it the main reason that I have mine. I love going out on public transport and exploring new places, and my mobile phone means that I am safe doing that. If anything happens, I know that I can make a call to get help.
I have Autism and I can sometimes feel anxious, it is really important to me that I have my phone with me at all times. Knowing that I can always contact someone makes me feel safe.
I have also started to do online shopping on my phone each week. KeyRing support me to do this – I have a new support worker called Natalia. I love doing my online shopping – it makes me independent as I can pick and choose what I want for my meals etc.
I like to keep in touch with my KeyRing support team throughout the week. I do this by texting and phoning. It is important to me that I can retain contact with my support workers as they help me as things come up over the week. I live alone and when problems arise, I can feel overwhelmed – it is important that I have people who can help me deal with things.
I go to a Learning Day Centre each day – Monday to Friday. At my centre, I use my smart phone to take photos etc. I use these photos when I do projects. I love taking photos and being able to do so with my phone is really important – it makes a big difference to my life.
I love my smart phone and I would not be without it. It keeps me safe, and it gives me freedom. I can go out and about whenever I want and I know that I am safe as I can make a call at any time should I need help.
Having access to technology is really important to me…
I have a mobile phone, a tablet, and an Alexa. I use all of them, but I use my mobile phone the most.
I could not be without my mobile phone. I use it to keep in touch with other KeyRing members and also staff. I am in two KeyRing WhatsApp groups – Member Voice and our local KeyRing group.
I use my phone throughout the day – it is very important to me to be able to keep in touch with people.
I think is really important for everyone to have a mobile phone if they are able to use one (and want one) – they are great for keeping in touch. I would not want to be without mine.
I contact my GP when I need to. I make calls every day to my family and friends – my phone is my lifeline. I put medication prompts on my phone (and my Alexa). My technology means that I do not forget things.
I also contact my energy company EON via WhatsApp. This is much easier than making calls to EON. When calling them, I used to wait an hour for them to answer the phone.
I also use social media to keep in touch with family and friends – I use Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.
Having access to technology and the internet is really important to me.