Tutors for GRT – challenging digital exclusion – Traveller Movement case study

HEAR is delighted to present the first in a series of Expert by Experience and academic case studies highlighting good practice, user-led interventions and recommendations to help communities, policy makers and funders to overcome digital exclusion:

“Tutors for GRT – challenging digital exclusion”,
by the Traveller Movement

The Traveller Movement developed ‘Tutors for GRT’ in reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic and many years experience of casework with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) families demonstrating home schooling would be difficult for many GRT parents because of digital exclusion and low literacy levels. The project develops a tailored tutoring relationship with GRT famililes and tutors with a DBS

Download or share the case study details using the Traveller Movement’s #TutorsForGRT hashtag and read the recommendations below


  • Local Authorities and schools need to consider digitally excluded children when designing their homework assignments during and after Covid-19 school closures.
  • Schools should provide tablets or laptops for those children who don’t have them at home as well as guidance how to use them
  • The Government should make sure all households have access to a good broadband connection
  • Private on and offline tutors should be provided for children who have fallen behind in their education during and after Covid-19 pandemic. The tutors need to be flexible, culturally competent and non-judgmental
  • Government should earmark some of the funding given to schools to tackle the impacts of Covid-19 school closures to make sure BAME groups are treated fairly when distributing these funds”

Opportunities to get involved in Oxford Uni’s Refugee Studies Centre linked research

Dr Evan Easton-Calabria senior research officer at Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Centre is producing a digital exclusion case study, “RCO London landscape during the public health pandemic” by interviewing leaders of London Refugee Community Organisations, and paying £10 for their time where required. Email evan.easton-calabria@qeh.ox.ac.uk to find out more.

Dr Easton-Calabria is also the editor of the “Rethinking Refuge Platform”, a stand-alone website (linked to the RSC website) that provides short, topical, research-based articles that address reform needed in the international refugee regime and is looking for articles.

The articles should broadly relate to ‘rethinking’ a major structural issue/topic in refugee and forced migration today on one or more of the following themes:
•Refugee agency
•Refugee economies
•Rethinking Emergencies and Crises
•The Syrian Refugee Crisis
Article Guidelines:-600-1,000 words, in accessible language (no jargon) Claims and arguments should be based on research (your own and secondary) and evidence rather than in an editorial or op-ed format. Full details here

Open letter Public Inquiry Covid Crisis -sign by TOMORROW Thursday 2nd July 4pm

A call out to the Third Sector, campaigning orgs and trade unions – Join Public Interest Law Centre in demanding a Public Inquiry into the handling of the Covid-19 crisis – please endorse and sign by this Thursday 2nd July

PILC ith the The Law Centres Network, are writing a letter to the Home Secretary to demand a public inquiry into the UK Government’s handling of the pandemic. We would like the letter to be a joint call by the Third Sector for an investigation into the litany of failures that have led to thousands of unnecessary deaths. Please join us by reading and signing the attached letter. 
Covid 19 impact and a systematic failure
As you are aware, the number of excess deaths registered in the UK during the Covid-19 outbreak is over 65,000, with the UK being one of the worst-affected countries in the world.

The record number of deaths is not a natural consequence of the virus, but a product of political choices. The absence of a robust response by the UK Government has led to thousands of unnecessary deaths at every juncture of this pandemic.

The failures are well-documented and include delays in imposing lockdown, PPE shortages, failure to test, trace and isolate, delayed action to safeguard care homes and failure to protect victims of abuse. These failures have had a disproportionate impact on BAME communities. 

Why is a public inquiry necessary?
The Third Sector and bereaved families deserve to know what went wrong and why. It will fall on our sector to pick up the pieces of the Government’s many failures. Given our unique position, we have a right to demand answers.

According to the Inquiries Act 2005, a public inquiry can be called when “particular events have caused, or are capable of causing, public concern, or… there is public concern that particular events may have occurred.”

The handling of the Covid-19 crisis is clearly a matter of significant public interest and concern. Given the public’s lack of confidence in the Government, it is appropriate that an independent body should investigate decisions, actions and the failure to act, so that the Government may be held accountable and future disasters prevented.

Next Steps
As the Third Sector we have a responsibility to demand a public inquiry on behalf of our service users. We ask that you, as representatives of those affected by the pandemic, join our demand and sign the letter attached. 

Whilst we would welcome any fundamental amendments to the letter, please make sure they are absolutely necessary given the fact that we are sending this to over 40 organisations!

Please kindly respond to Paul.Heron@pilc.org.uk by 4pm Thursday 2nd July 2020 to give us time to edit the letter and send out on Monday 6th July.

Tues 30th June,2-3.30, pan-equality hate crime network

Tues 30th June,2-3.30pm,Charities Challenging Hate Crime, London’s pan-equality hate crime network virtual meeting
June is Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month. Today is Windrush Day and Corona Virus conspiracies and Black Lives Matter have brought racism to the forefront of many members minds.

Charities Challenging Hate Crime, Tuesday 30th June will take place on Zoom between 2.00 and 3.30pm.

Speakers will include the Traveller Movement, Migrant Voice and Southeast and East Asian Centre in London.

Register in advance for this meeting:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. We are able to reimbruse expenses for members who experience digital exclusion. Please email mhairi@HEARequality.org.uk with any access or communication needs or for more information.

We are paying for Digital Exclusion case studies and good practice! EXTENDED DEADLINE

HEAR has been working with members to increase understanding of the intersectional and complex nature of Digital Exclusion as part of our policy and campaigns work funded by Trust for London

COVID19 has highlighted how race, disability, poverty, domestic abuse, age, lack of privacy, insecure housing, immigration status and safety online etc., interact to create Digital Exclusion.

Digital by default public health messages and access to services during this pandemic have demonstrated how important it is that local and central government better understand their obligations to provide in real life (IRL) alternatives, reasonable adjustments and full access to public services.HEAR members and wider civil society swift responses, overcoming Digital Exclusion in our under-valued organisations and for beneficiaries whilst also mobilising successful online campaigns securing better responses from public services, shows VCS are on the cutting edge when removing barriers to Digital Exclusion and using digital tools for social inclusion in the sector.

HEAR planned a programme of events sharing good practice, current research and user-led interventions to involve everyone equally in the digital revolution. Those events can’t happen so we are delighted to announce we are asking for applications from members to write case studies, evaluations, briefings, create blogs, vlogs, toolkits, hacks, or content demonstrating good practice in getting intersectional and excluded communities online.

We are offering £300 to write up previously completed work and £500 if you are able to safely deliver work currently to overcome digital exclusion or use digital tools to create social inclusion.This application is meant to be stress free! Do not spend a lot of time on it. At the bottom are the details you MUST include, otherwise apply as quickly and easily as you can. Reports will be shared with our members, policy makers and other stakeholders and included on our online platforms.  

Maximum 2 sides A4 proposal
Application deadline:
EXTENDED UNTIL COCOONING ENDS but applications will be assessed and granted as received. Once we’ve spent the reallocated budget its gone!
Delivery deadline:
You must include:

  1. Organisation or project name
  2. Contact details (name, email and telephone number)
  3. Charity number or description of project if not registered charity
  4. Thecommunity, intersection or barrier the project focuses on
  5. Whatyou plan to write or deliver (e.g., 1000 word case study, 2 page briefing, vlogs of participants)
  6. Whether you are applying for £300 or £500
  7. If you are applying for £500 you must also include when and where the work will be delivered and number of beneficiaries

Case studies of interest:

  • Projects getting digitally excluded online, particularly intersectional Londoners
  • User-led projects and Lived Experience involvement in design, training, projects
  • Safety, risk and protection from scams and phishing to data privacy, safeguarding and online hate
  • Challenging statutory digital exclusion and gaining adjustments or alternatives
  • Digital democracy, consultations and engagement
  • Reinforcing inequalities and lack of digital data
  • Mobilising, campaigning and lobbying online
  • Integrational and intercultural interventions
  • Changing narratives about creators, curators and content; girls that code, hidden figures, Deaf SMS pioneers, diverse emoji
  • Testing accessible tools and technology
  • Difference between digital exclusion and choosing not to go online
  • Connecting at the time of COVID19 – Online Ramadan, immediate solidarity in campaigning, zoom vs facetime vs houseparty vs skype

Your project might cover all or some of these topics. It might be something completely new and not listed. We want diverse, innovative and inspiring work!

Please send applications to mhairi@HEARequality.org.uk or email or call with any questions.

With thanks to our funder Trust for London

deafPLUS BSL Advice Line

Using existing popular technologies such as Skype, Zoom and Facetime, we deliver advice on a wide range of topics.

The deafPLUS Advice Line is the first ever award winning helpline in the UK that is accessible to deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users.  Funded by the Big Lottery Community Fund, we use existing popular technologies such as Skype and FaceTime to deliver advice on a range of issues to clients.  This is to ensure that each client can fully participate in any assessment which is being made on their behalf, understand their civil rights and participate in the conversation about what services they need to access, allowing for them to make informed choices. 

The deafPLUS Advice Line enables deaf BSL users to sign “face to face” with a trained advisor, who is also a native BSL user, using a video platform they are already familiar with (e.g. Skype, FaceTime etc).  We also offer a text-based service for deaf clients who do not use BSL to ensure that it is accessible for everyone.  Our advisors deliver a significant amount of offline case work and support, moving cases forward on their behalf

Book Appointment Here 

deafPLUS have made a video so this information is available in BSL and accessible to Deaf people

Letter invoking human rights law to get your entitlement to PPE

Inclusion London together with law firm from Deighton Pierce Glynn have drafted a template letter that can be used by people who employ personal assistants & have problems obtaining personal protective equipment from their local authority or Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) by explaining that refusing to meet this statutory duty breaches ECHR https://www.inclusionlondon.org.uk/campaigns-and-policy/act-now/template-letter-to-challenge-failure-to-provide-personal-protective-equipment-ppe/

The letter requests that the Local Authority provides PPE or else be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. You can download a full copy of the letter here:

Template letter to challenge failure to provide PPE.

Support for VCS during Corona from MPs,Lords and Funders

Hundreds of MPs and Lords from nine different political parties have signed a letter demanding support for charities facing an “absolutely disastrous” situation of being forced to close as a reult of Covid 19, despite filling in many gaps for the most at risk. The letter sent to Rishi Sunak asks the chancellor to take “urgent action” to support charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises.
The letter says “without an immediate injection of money, many charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises of all sizes will soon close. Funds are running out”. Karl Wilding, chief executive of the NCVO said: “Every day counts here. I’m hearing from charities whose income has disappeared overnight but who still have to run services for their communities. Many of them have very little emergency cash to tide them over, and even those that do will run out in a matter of weeks…I know the government is working on this but for many charities around the country there is very little time to spare.”

You can read more of the letter by clicking on the link in the image below. Why not ask your MP to sign or use the hashtag #AskRishi #EveryDayCounts to promote the letter and demands

Page 1 of letter sent to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, signed by 300 MPs and Lords, demanding government support VCS

Greater London Authority and London Funders
GLA Coronavirus (COVID-19) supporting civil society organisations
Civil society plays a crucial role in supporting London’s communities and the work of charities, faith organisations, un-constituted groups and volunteers must be protected during this period of uncertainty.

On their website they’ve provided information on available resources to support civil society through the coronavirus outbreak. If you are a volunteer looking for ways to safely support London’s communities during the coronavirus outbreak, please visit our volunteering page.

One thing the GLA and London Funders have done is quickly establish an emergency fund see below

The London Community Response
The London Community Response, co-ordinated by London Funders, is a result of collaboration between the Mayor of London and London Funders. The single application point for charities and community groups enables organisations to access funding from multiple funders in a fast and efficient way.
The first wave of funding has now been launched and will be for up to £5k for food and essentials only. This is in response to funders listening to the sector about what is immediately required on the ground to keep services going. You can apply now for a grant up to £5,000 for these immediate and urgent needs.
We cannot stress enough that the first wave will not be your organisation’s only opportunity to apply for funding – this is simply to ensure that emergency essentials are in place. There will be a second wave of funding in early April for larger grants, service transformation costs, and ongoing work to support communities. Funders are also exploring funding for some of the longer-term needs of communities and the sector affected by the crisis. Organisations can apply and receive funds in each of the different waves. Applying in this first wave will not prevent you from applying for further funds in due course, but also you won’t miss out on the fund if your organisation does not need this kind of practical support right now. Details of funding, eligibility, application process and when will be available on London Community Response To apply for funding complete the single application form on the website. Your application will then considered by a range of funders in London Community Response

Standard Life Foundation – fast track applications.
Standard Life Foundation are continuing assessment process of all current funding applications but mindful that applicants may wish to reconsider their proposals in light of coronavirus and are encouraging them to adjust as necessary, and making funding available for work directly related to the pandemic. More detail about their approach and the types of activities they fund are outlined in more detail in our funding guidelines. They will fund a range of strategic work that has the potential to benefit large numbers of people within the UK and must aim to create a step change in policy, practice, attitudes and/or behaviour. It includes policy work, campaigning, research, public attitudinal work, and improving practice and design; rapid analysis of key issues, for example, self-employed workers, or social care sectors; modelling new proposals such as enhanced sick pay, changes to pensions; recording impacts on low-to-middle income groups; specific advocacy and policy work on a range of issues related to income, spending and assets.

This new funding stream will be a fast track process for projects responding to the pandemic that can be started in the next few weeks. Projects funded may last only a few weeks or months but some may be longer. Grants will range from £5,000 to larger amounts. Organisations we are already funding can apply, as can organisations we are already considering for our current funding round. The call is also open to organisations we have rejected in the past, including our last funding round. Applicants should submit a one page document outlining their idea (and if the proposal is for research, some detail on your methodology). This should be submitted to: applications@standardlifefoundation.org.uk
The usual funding round in June will go ahead and SLF are encouraging applications to address the challenges arising from the pandemic, thinking of medium and longer term solutions.

The National Emergency Trust is raising funds to enable local grass roots community organisations to respond to the current emergency. The funds will be distributed via the network of Community Foundations. You can find out details of the Community Foundation in your area here www.ukcommunityfoundations.org

Crisis Emergency Grants for organisations
The homelessness and housing sectors currently face a huge and unprecedented challenge. Governments across Great Britain have publicly committed to bringing everybody indoors, however it is the frontline organisations, working alongside their local authorities which are stepping up to turn these ambitions into reality.

That is why Crisis decided to set up In This Together campaign. As part of this we are fundraising to support our services but also to deliver a grants programme which support local homelessness organisations across the UK to respond to this emergency. We have already started providing emergency grants up to £5000 to pay for things people have told us they urgently need. Services which can no longer operate from a centre are quickly turning themselves into outreach organisations, people providing their clients with the means to keep themselves safe and connected with cleaning materials and mobiles and trying to bring in the additional capacity needed to meet increased need but also fill gaps where staff and volunteers are having to distance themselves.

Although there are also opportunities amongst the challenges. Things we were told weren’t possible have happened: housing benefit levels are back to being linked to market rents, evictions have been suspended and governments are showing that rough sleeping can in fact be ended (even over a weekend). If we are to capitalise on this chance, we need services which make sure no-one who is now indoors needs to go back to homelessness. So, that is why we are also looking to provide larger grants, up to £50,000, to support the more substantial changes needed so that the help that is started through an emergency can turn into something permanent.
To find out more about the grants fund and to apply for funding please download the relevant application form Up to £5K grant application form and Up to £50K grant application form

7 Deadly Sins of Digital Exclusion in the time of Corona

Our members asked us to work with them to highlight Digital Exclusion, and how it impacts on the most marginalised, excluded and impoverished.

Many of the communities and intersectional people who are most digitally excluded are also those most at risk of Covid 19; older people, disabled people, people who are homeless or in insecure housing, those in prison, detention and ex-offenders, people with insecure immigration status, or you speak English as an additional language, those who may move around like Gypsy, Roma and Traveller and refugee communities and many other excluded Londoners.

Reasonable adjustments, changes made so disabled people are able to overcome the barriers that disable us, are an anticipatory statutory duty. This means public servants must be prepared for what disabled people need before they are asked.

In terms of public health, emergency and pandemic plans and delivery this means local and central Government have to be able to communicate these important messages offline, in BSL, Easy Read etc., so their health, safety and rights are protected. Try using our briefing on 7 Deadly Sins of Digital Exclusion to help statutory services better understand their duties and so they can find practical ways to meet their obligations.

This global pandemic, that highlights the inequalities and intersectional discrimination HEAR members challenge every day, gives us opportunities to come together virtually and take advantage of ‘new technology’ to involve everyone in the digital revolution. For example:

  • Learn how, try out and practice working and socialising virtually and share your experiences with one another
    Digital doyennes Superhighways have already helped loads of London VCS get working remotely safely and they’ve turned some of their expertise into helpful hacks and are sharing other good practice and an important survey to feed into Charity Digital Skills Report complete the 2020 survey by 3 April. They will continue to update and skill up the sector so sign up to their or our mailings
  • Encourage and support digitally excluded to get online
    We want to hear about how to get digitally excluded people and organisations online. Skills sharing, content creation and curation, overcoming risk and privacy fears to get intersectional Londoners digital during this emergency and before
  • Use social and other new media to create solidarity and raise the voices of the excluded
    A number of HEAR members have been using social media to highlight disimcriminatory policy and practice during the Corona crisis. Some have got some wins, others are still working, so let’s support one anothers campaigns and highlight User-Led and Expert by Experience voices like Disabled campaigners, Homeless experts and GRT run organisations. If you’ve got a campaign needing pan-equality solidarity get us to include it in our bulletins and on social media email Nothing About Us Without Us!

We had planned to run a series fo events to publicise our members #DigitalExclusion work. We will now use some of the budget to pay members to write up casestudies, good practice, learning and lessons about overcoming digital exclusion. More details to follow but email mhairi@HEARequality.org.uk to express an interest and to find out more, or via www.tinyurl.com/HEARDE.

Page 1/2 of HEAR briefing 7 Deadly Sins of Digital Exclusion full pdf available via www.tinyurl.com/HEARDE or email mhairi@HEARequality.org.uk for accessible versions
Page 2/2 of HEAR briefing 7 Deadly Sins of Digital Exclusion. The second page "1st steps in inlcuding us in the digital revolution" gives 7 hacks to helping end digital exclusion like user-centred design, providing 'in real like alternatives' (IRL alts), capitalising websites and hashtags and not directing people to your website when they call you or come to the office

We Are the Digital Revolution – budget for delivery

HEAR members have asked us to arrange skills sharing and training to inform people about Digital Exclusion, how to overcome barriers marginalised and intersectional Londoners experience in using digital tools and share examples of good practice.

HEAR have a small budget for training and skills sharing are looking for Experts by Experience and user-led, projects and Tech and Data for Good NGOs to share examples good practice.

Delivery could be traditional training, presentations of impact of digital skills classes, casestudies of using digital and new media to create social inclusion, examples of creation, curation and online action that counter narratives that intersectional, older and disabled people are digital dummies.

Topics and themes
Protecting Privacy – keeping data private, anonymity, scams and phishing, shared devices and networks
Reducing Risk – passwords, photos, pretend profiles and perptrators perhaps disaggregating data
Accessiblity – changing settings, accessibility tools, getting in real life (IRL) alternatives (alts)
Hidden Figures – are you an ‘excluded’ minority who has been making history, culture, ‘content’ in the Digital world
No I don’t need an upgrade” – open source, generic hardware, free WiFi and using digital to save money not spend it
Techie Tricks – most of us are digitally self taught, even digital natives! What are your most used techie tricks and favourite apps, programmes and tools

If you would like to express an interest in delivering training, skill sharing or writing up an example of good practice on one of the topics above, or another that you know is important to reducing Digital Exclusion email mhairi@HEARequality.org.uk with your proposal.

Your proposal should be 1 A4 or less, please include:
How your delivery will reduce Digital Exclusion
Which marginalised Londoners you have worked with
Which intersectional and excluded Londoners will benefit most
Contact details