Leeds City Digital Team supports third sector go digital

The Leeds City Digital Team has supported third sector voluntary, community, charity and social enterprise organisations with grants of up to £1000 to digitise services during the COVID-19 pandemic.A special digital grants fund has helped the organisations across the city continue to deliver services, with support from the Leeds City Digital Team, consisting of staff from Leeds City Council and NHS organisations.

Dr Alistair Walling, GP in Leeds and Chief Clinical Information Officer, for the city’s Health and Care system, said: “The third sector plays an important role in the city and their services are a lifeline to some people. That’s why the Leeds City Digital team wanted to help, as a lot of them did not have the right technology infrastructure in place and like a lot of other organisations they were caught off guard with this pandemic.”

“We were able to secure £100,000 through existing pooled health and care funds, Forum Central, Leeds Community Foundation and BT as part of their full fibre contract in Leeds. This shows how strong our relationships are with the third sector and private sector and I want to thank 100% Digital Leeds Team, who helped administer and distribute the funds.”

“The fund helped organisations buy equipment or data packages so they could continue to support some of our most vulnerable residents – for example, by providing mobile phones for clients or digital notebooks for staff.  Although we’re coming out of lockdown a lot of organisations are still delivering their services remotely, so the positive impact of the grants will last a long time.”

Pip Goff Director at Forum Central, which represents third sector health and care organisations in Leeds, she said: “We are really proud to be able to help our member organisations continue their key services during the pandemic, especially those working with people who were most at risk, for example people with a learning disability, asylum seekers and refugees and people from gypsy and traveller communities.”

“We’ve had some real positive feedback about how the fund has helped organisations during the pandemic and how the technology will continue to help during the coming months. It’s a real testament to partnership working and shows the importance of building relationships.”