100% Digital Leeds: Join the movement.

Leeds Libraries and The Good Things Foundation – the UK’s leading digital inclusion charity – are working together to create 100% Digital Leeds,  a cross sector collaboration ensuring everyone in the city has the digital skills they need.

An estimated 90,000 people in Leeds lack basic digital skills. A lack of digital skills can have a huge negative impact on a person’s life, and it’s those who are already at a disadvantage – through age, income, disability, unemployment, or education – that are most likely to be digitally excluded.

We know that helping people to become digitally included will bring wider social benefits. Improved digital skills help people be better informed, pay less for things, be more employable, feel more independent, be less isolated, and live better, easier, longer lives.

We want  everyone to understand how digital would benefit them, be able to gain the skills they need to make the most of digital, and get connected.

We can’t reach 90,000 people alone: we need your help to fight the digital divide. Join the 100% Digital Leeds movement.

The picture in Leeds
The 100% Digital Leeds approach
Join the movement
The impact we’ve made

100% Digital Leeds for Innovators Network

The picture in Leeds:

Leeds has a rapidly flourishing digital tech sector and is home to 3,500 companies including Rockstar, Sky Betting & Gaming and NHS Digital. Yet according to Opinium research commissioned by Post Office Broadband, Leeds is one of the least digitally confident cities in the UK with over a quarter of the population reported as feeling left behind by the digital revolution, higher than the national average of 20%.

Those who don’t feel assured using technology attribute it to a knowledge gap. Nearly half (45%) say they’ve never been taught how to use their devices, a third (36%) don’t fully understand the features on them, and 28% don’t know how to set them up. Furthermore, 25% think their devices are too complicated, while 19% worry about the consequences of doing something wrong.

Across Leeds, 90,000 adults – 14% of the population – still lack the basic digital skills they need to participate in today’s world, and people who are offline are missing out on all the benefits the internet can provide – from helping them to find work, to saving money and keeping in touch with friends and family. With the introduction of Universal Credit and the impending channel-shift systems in Housing later this year, leaving nobody behind when it comes to digital has never been more important.

The 100% Digital Leeds approach:

The three main barriers to digital inclusion have been identified as cost of equipment, lack of skills and confidence, and lack of motivation.

Our tablet lending scheme provides connectivity.

Our tablet lending scheme supports organisations to give people internet access, helping them to understand the positive changes that can be made to their lives through being online. We have 150 4G enabled iPads available for organisations to borrow to discover new ways of working to bridge the gap between those offline and those online.

The Online Centres Network provides skills and confidence.

The Online Centres Network is made up of thousands of grassroots organisations all working to tackle digital and social exclusion by providing people with the skills and confidence they need to access digital technology. The Network is free to join and there are many benefits to being a member, including access to funding opportunities, training and support, and resources.

Digital Champions provide motivation.

Digital Champions help us to reach the digitally excluded in their communities by advocating the benefits of digital, and signposting people to free training and support available across the city. Anyone can be a Digital Champion, and we’d like to recruit as many as we can to inspire the people of Leeds to start their journey with digital.

Events help spread the word.

We’ll be getting out and about in the community, making sure everyone knows about 100% Digital Leeds and has the opportunity to join the movement. Look out for a chance to say hello.

Join the movement:

Contact us and one of our Digital Inclusion Coordinators will be in touch to discuss how you or your organisation can be a part of the 100% Digital Leeds movement. Alternatively look out for one of our events and take the chance to say hello.

The impact we’ve made:

Discover the difference that 100% Digital Leeds has made so far by taking a look at our case studies.



Adventure Begins was a collaboration project led by Inclusion North, partnered with West Yorkshire Combined Authority, 100% Digital Leeds, and the LeedsBID digital initiative, Leeds Boost.

The Journey Makers Adventure Begins event took place in Leeds on 3rd July and focused on addressing the barriers to travel for people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

Fun was had in the sunshine as the teams had to spot locations across Leeds

This one day event saw a host of activities taking place, beginning with an adventure story in Leeds Kirkgate Market, followed by a session on ‘how to plan your journey’. Split into groups, the teams then embarked on their own adventure – a treasure hunt across the City, that led them to Leeds Central Library where they explored useful travel apps, experienced virtual reality and shared their experiences.

“We know that people with a learning disability have a higher risk of being lonely and socially isolated. They are also amongst the most digitally excluded. #AdventureBegins was borne out of the Talking Travel group wanting to support people to become more confident travellers and was wonderfully supported by a partnership of organisations who came together to create an event that was about inspiring people to have adventures, to get to know their community and to travel with confidence.”

Lucy Virgo – Inclusion North

The objective of this project was about helping to promote choice and independence for people with hidden or physical learning disabilities and/or autism, and sparking the sense of adventure, building confidence and the new opportunities they can explore with the aid of tools such as their mobile phone, apps, and planning ahead.

Service users from Leep1 gained confidence in using travel apps

Ryan loved this! We need events like this that are actually having an impact.”

Ryan’s Dad

For people with learning disabilities and/or autism, exploring a new place, a trip to the cinema, a bus ride into town can often have its barriers. The physical barriers of how to get from A to B, and the knowledge and confidence to make that journey. The Adventure Begins event was designed to give people with learning disabilities and/or autism an opportunity to explore more. To ‘try-out’ new things, to learn some great tips on how to plan a trip, discover helpful digital tools and apps and most importantly boost confidence and have fun whilst starting this new adventure.

The event saw over 40 participants actively engaging and benefiting from the experience, 6 transport related businesses had a stall, and almost 100 people attended the event.

The Post Office and Google Digital Garage Drop-Ins

In June, during Festival of Learning week, 100% Digital Leeds partnered with Post Office Broadband and Google Digital Garage to launch the first of six free digital drop-ins around the country aimed at helping boost people’s digital skills and confidence.

gpo tw2

The Post Office and Google Digital Garage Drop-Ins took place in the cities that were revealed to be the least digitally confident; Plymouth (31%), Cardiff (28%), Leeds (27%), Norwich (25%) and Belfast (25%) and Southampton (23%). Workshops were held as 121 sessions and group workshops, covering topics such as ‘Device Advice’, ‘Staying Safe Online’ and ‘Getting Started online.’ Workshops were free and open to anyone who wants to take part to grow their confidence online. Google trainers were on hand to help learners and answer any questions, as well as staff from the Post Office and us at 100% Digital Leeds.

“Thank you for being so patient with me, I’ve really learned a lot about using computers and the internet today and feel like with a bit more work I’ll get there.”

Maxine, event attendee

This collaboration with Google Digital Garage and Post Office Broadband was a high profile event that helped raise awareness of the 100% Digital Leeds movement.

The event attracted over thirty attendees, ranging from absolute beginners to people who wanted to learn how to use Microsoft Office for employment purposes, or find out about accessibility settings to make their online experience more user-friendly, or stay connected by learning how to use social media. We used Festival of Learning, the week of the event, to launch our transition to the Learn My Way platform, and many attendees worked their way through the modules during the course of the event.

We also had bloggers in attendance from across the North of England and there was a real buzz on social media as well as in the room, with several tweets making close to 2,000 impressions each. Take a look at what local blogger Mama Mei had to say about the event.

There is a clear need for increased digital awareness, skills and access in Leeds, and this event was a great way to build momentum and capacity, and to draw attention to our cause.

This event took place on Friday 22 June, 10am-1pm, Leeds Central Library


Events and Engagement

We’re always looking for ways to get out into communities to raise awareness and promote the benefits of being online.  Here you can find out about 100% Digital Leeds events, the partnerships we’ve formed, and the people we’ve engaged with.

Previous partners include Google, The Post Office, and Leeds Boost.

If your organisation would like us to come to an event and talk about our work and how we can help others, please get in touch.

Join the movement
The impact we’ve made
Key documents
#AdventureBegins in partnership with Leeds Boost

Join the movement:

Here’s where we’ll be next: come say hello!

The impact we’ve made:

Find out how we’ve worked in partnership with organisations to improve digital inclusion across Leeds by viewing our case studies.

Key documents:

Digital Champions

14% of Leeds is offline or lacks the basic skills needed to participate in the online world – that’s 90,000 people.  We need help to reach as many people as possible and support them to realise the benefits of being online.

Digital Champions help us to reach the digitally excluded in their communities by advocating the benefits of digital, and signposting people to free training and support available across the city. Some Digital Champions might support people to access training too.

Whatever being a Digital Champion means to you, we need your help to build capacity for sustainable digital inclusion.

What you need to know
Join the movement
The impact we’ve made
Key documents

Cover photo


What you need to know:

We need inspirational people, not experts.

Digital Champions inspire others, improve people’s confidence and help raise awareness of the online world. It’s not about being a computer expert, it’s about being supportive, encouraging and patient.

If you’re active in your local community – through your work, as a volunteer, or as a resident – and you understand the importance of everyone having the opportunity to be online, you’d make a perfect Digital Champion.

Training and support for you.

We can help you develop the confidence and knowledge to be able to support your local community to go online.

If you’re interested in becoming a Digital Champion you can complete the free Digital Champion training available online through Learn My Way, or our Digital Inclusion Coordinators can provide face-to-face training.

Our Digital Inclusion Coordinators can offer group workshops for organisations keen for their staff and volunteers to become Digital Champions and help their service users make the most of life online.

Join the movement:

There’s no need to apply to be a Digital Champion for a local organisation, simply complete the free Digital Champion training available online through Learn My Way, or contact us to request a face-to-face workshop.

You could choose to be a Digital Volunteer with the Library Service and share your digital skills with people by running support sessions in libraries or visiting people in their homes through the Library at Home Service. For further information and to download an application form, click here.

The impact we’ve made:

Find out how Digital Champions have already made a difference by taking a look at some of our case studies.

Key documents:

Tablet Lending

We have 150 iPads available for organisations to borrow to discover new ways of working to bridge the gap between those offline and those online.

We know that helping non-users and limited users to become digitally included will bring wider social benefits: helping them to be better informed, more confident using online tools, and feeling more independent and less isolated.

The three main barriers to digital inclusion have been identified as cost of equipment, lack of motivation, and a lack of skills and confidence. Our tablet lending scheme supports organisations to give people internet access, helping them to understand the positive changes that can be made to their lives through being online.

What you need to know
Join the movement
Case studies
Key documents

What you need to know:

Free to borrow, with free data.

The iPads are all 4G enabled so you can use the internet without needing access to WiFi. We’ve already paid for the data so there is no cost to your organisation or your service users.

Borrow them for a month or longer.

The standard loan period is one month but they can be borrowed for longer if your project calls for it. There’s space in the application form to let us know how your organisation would like to use the iPads, and for how long.

Different people benefit from different approaches.

We’re want everyone to be confident with digital, and to understand the benefits of being online. We understand that people have different motivations for starting their journey with digital, and some are easier to convince than others.

You know the people you work with, and whatever they’re using the iPads, your digitally excluded service users will pick up digital skills and confidence. We welcome applications to use our tablets for projects that work with digitally excluded people to help combat loneliness, improve health and wellbeing, encourage creativity, or other innovative approaches towards digital inclusion.

If you want to use the iPads to run basic IT sessions, that’s great too. There are lots of useful apps already installed, including Learn My Way, which offers free courses on using a computer, browsing the web, sending an email and finding work online.

We can support you.

We can help your organisation, staff, and volunteers become more digitally confident too. If you need help using the tech, Learn My Way has a range of tutorials on how to make the most of the iPad.

We can deliver training to your staff and volunteers on how to use the iPads, and how to work as Digital Champions within your organisation. Their role could be to support their colleagues to digitally up-skill as well as helping service users.

If you’re not sure where to start, contact us and one of our Digital Inclusion Coordinators will get in touch to talk you through the project and help you think through any ideas.

Your information is safe with us.

The iPads are completely free of any previous data when handed to your organisation, so it’s just like taking them straight out of the box.  When the iPads is returned, all data is erased and the device is reset to protect users’ information.

Each device has a registered serial number which we can trace, so in the event of loss or theft, we can remotely wipe the iPad to protect users’ information.

iPads are designed and built to only accept and install software that has been approved by Apple and run through the App Store, so there is no need to worry about computer viruses.

Join the movement:

Complete the Tablet Lending Application Form and email it to sarah.liles@leeds.gov.uk and one of the 100% Digital Leeds team will be in touch within 10 working days.

Case studies:

Find out how other organisations have used tablets with their service users by taking a look at some of our case studies.

Key documents:

All the paperwork you need is available to download here.

Tablet Lending Application Form