Leeds City Digital Team helps third sector go digital during pandemic

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Leeds City Digital Team provided special grant funds to help third sector organisations across the city continue to deliver essential services during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Voluntary, community, charity and social enterprise organisations benefited from funding of up to £1,000 to help with equipment during the crisis.

The Digital Team, which includes staff from the NHS and Leeds City Council also helped organisations buy data packages to allow vulnerable people to stay connected.

Dr Alistair Walling, a 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.

“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.

“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.”

As the country moves out of lockdown the funding will continue to help deliver remote services where necessary.

Pip Goff, director at Forum Central which represents third sector health and care organisations in Leeds, added: “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.”

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