At the beginning of July, I attended an event at BFI Southbank in London to view three films, marking the end of the Open Cinema portion of our Reboot UK project. It was a combined event with the Pathways to your Future programme – a Cisco-funded tech internship programme.
It was an inspiring two hours and a great way to spend a Monday afternoon seeing how the Reboot UK programme has benefitted people, and hearing from some of the partners involved, including Homeless Link and Evolve Housing, really brought home the huge impacts the programme has been having.
I’m very proud of Reboot UK, which aims to help families in poverty, homeless people and people with poor mental health to improve their wellbeing through digital. You’ve heard me say it before, and I’m about to say it again: there are 12.6 million people in the UK who lack basic digital skills and the groups who are being supported through Reboot are far more likely to make up a portion of this number. They are at greater risk of social exclusion and have the most to gain from improved digital skills and access to online resources.
You can find out more about Reboot UK on the Tinder Foundation website, but the real reason I wanted to blog about this afternoon at BFI is because I want to share the videos. They were created in conjunction with three Reboot UK delivery partners: Leeds Mind, Evolve Housing + Support and Abington Centre of Education and they really demonstrate the impact that the project has had and show how it will continue to support those most in need.
Abington Centre of Education:
Evolve Housing and Support:
Reboot UK is a consortium test and learn project that we’re running alongside partners Mind, Homeless Link and Family Fund, as well as a handful community partners across the UK. The project aims to test innovative new models to see how they support three groups of people – families in poverty, homeless people, and people with poor mental health – to improve their health and wellbeing through digital technology.
Led by Reboot UK’s head researcher, Laurence Piercy, we spent a significant amount of time exploring the barriers and the benefits for these groups gaining basic digital skills, as well as the approaches that may work. All of this is outlined in the Literature Review, published today.
The Literature Review has provided us with some solid evidence, helping us to develop understanding and models into what we now want to deliver for Reboot UK, as well as collating findings from a huge range of external sources.
Reboot UK’s head researcher, Laurence Piercy (left), visits one of the project community partners [Image by Dora Dc Photography]
The research revealed, for example, that only once before has a home access scheme been tried on scale. Smaller ones have shown positive results, but hardly any work has been done to find out how home access schemes can be delivered on a larger scale to help those desperately in need of broadband and equipment. Learning at home or putting the skills learned in a community centre into practise in their own time is an important part of the journey for a huge number of learners. Reboot UK involves a number of community-based equipment distribution and lending schemes which will allow us to explore home access and help us to develop ideas of how a scheme can be scaled effectively.
Another interesting finding detailed in the Literature Review is that for the groups of people we are supporting, their needs are often so complex that they require a response to learning that recognises their needs and adapts to suit them. Some people feel most comfortable learning from a friend or a neighbour, for example. Others may feel more comfortable learning in a community centre, and others may prefer to learn at home.
Once these needs have been addressed, the huge benefits of digital technology to the individual can be realised.
I want to thank Laurence for the fantastic report, and everyone else who was involved in the creation of the review, and is involved in the delivery of the project. I’m really excited about the Reboot UK project, and the impacts it will have on people that may not be reached by other initiatives, and I’m looking forward to following it’s progress. You can read the Literature Review here, and keep up-to-date with the second stage – the testing and learning – through our #RebootUK hashtag on social media.