Advertisement
Activism

Changemakers 2022: Digital inclusion

These are the Changemakers fighting to make sure everyone is included in the digital world and breaking down barriers for vulnerable people.

Every year, The Big Issue takes the time to remember the triumphs of our Changemakers, the people who selflessly dedicate their time to making the world a little bit better. We want to celebrate the Changemakers and thank them for all that they do.

In the ever-advancing technological age, while many of us have mobile phones in our pockets, not everyone has access to computers, smart devices or WiFi.

These are the Changemakers fighting to make sure everyone is included in the digital world and breaking down barriers for vulnerable people.

Subscribe to The Big Issue

From just £3 per week

Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work. With each subscription we invest every penny back into supporting the network of sellers across the UK. A subscription also means you'll never miss the weekly editions of an award-winning publication, with each issue featuring the leading voices on life, culture, politics and social activism.

Campaigners against voter ID 

When Neil Coughlan went to vote at a local government election in 2019, he was asked to show photo ID. Since then, he has been working on a legal challenge against the government’s plans to introduce voter ID as part of the Elections Bill 2021-22. Coughlan, who lives in Witham, Essex, and doesn’t own a passport or driving licence, thinks the plans are “dangerous” and threaten democracy. 

He said: “I feel that these measures will unfairly discriminate against not only myself, but also others in a similar position across the district and beyond, who are unable to provide with the same ease, identification that ministers and civil servants take for granted and naively think we all possess.”

An estimated 3.5 million voters (7.5 per cent of the electorate) do not have any photo ID. Once Coughlan has raised £80,000 in legal fees, expect to see him take the case to the Supreme Court in 2022. 

Advertisement
Advertisement
Campaign with us

Become a Big Issue campaign supporter.

Take action today and join a movement to create a better future for today.

Meanwhile politics graduates Freddie Mallinson and Jack McAteer set up Hands Off Our Vote. The duo believe the government should be making it easier for everyone to participate in elections, not harder. One of the reasons so many people don’t have any form of photo ID is that they cost money to buy. Mallinson and McAteer are campaigning to convince MPs to rethink voter IDs so that everyone can continue to participate in democracy.  

This social change charity is on a mission to end data poverty with a vision of everyone benefiting from digital connection. Covid has exposed and exacerbated the digital divide, which sees those without mobile data locked out of essential services and support, jobs, savings, health and wellbeing – even staying in touch with loved ones.

Good Things Foundation 

The Good Things Foundation has been working with Virgin Media O2 to distribute more data and is campaigning to get others in the industry on board. Each year the charity runs a digital inclusion campaign called Get Online Week. 

Article continues below

Being Woman  

This non-profit set up a Response and Resilience Fund to help families not only struggling with Covid restrictions, but unable to feed their families. The charity was supplying food boxes to those most in need. After being awarded a grant from Good Things Foundation, the team set up a 24-hour accessible digital platform, and realised that an app would make the process easier for everyone.

Their vision was for families ordering food or supplies, volunteers collecting and packing food parcels, or staff maintaining the records to be just a click away from each other. The app is due to be launched in 2022. 

Third Sector Lab 

Digital inclusion doesn’t just mean making sure disadvantaged people can benefit from technology, but ensuring people working in charity and support services can make the best of it too. Digital strategy and design for organisations doing good is Third Sector Lab’s bread and butter.

As well as creating websites and social media campaigns for the third sector the organisation, founded by Ross McCulloch, trains staff and volunteers to embrace the digital world in their fight to lift people out of hardship. It’s a cause which will only grow in importance in 2022 with more of public life moving online. 

Check out our other Changemakers for 2022 here.

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine out this week. Support your local vendor by buying today!

If you cannot reach your local vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

Advertisement

Support The Big Issue Winter Appeal

Big Issue vendors can’t work from home and with severe weather warnings on the cards, they face a very tough and uncertain Winter period ahead.

Recommended for you

Read All
Organisers of Sarah Everard vigil take Met Police to court over handling of event
Violence Against Women

Organisers of Sarah Everard vigil take Met Police to court over handling of event

Kill the Bill protests taking place across the country ahead of votes on Policing Bill
Activism

Kill the Bill protests taking place across the country ahead of votes on Policing Bill

Insulate Britain 'won't be returning to the roads' suggests activist released from prison
Insulate Britain

Insulate Britain 'won't be returning to the roads' suggests activist released from prison

Changemakers 2022: Education
Changemakers 2022

Changemakers 2022: Education

Most Popular

Read All
Government branded 'disgrace' after bid to strengthen Sarah Everard inquiry voted down at 12.30am
1.

Government branded 'disgrace' after bid to strengthen Sarah Everard inquiry voted down at 12.30am

What are the Kill the Bill protests?
2.

What are the Kill the Bill protests?

Rose Ayling-Ellis: 'Suddenly it became quite cool to be deaf'
3.

Rose Ayling-Ellis: 'Suddenly it became quite cool to be deaf'

The Met Police is being sued for not investigating a Downing Street Christmas party
4.

The Met Police is being sued for not investigating a Downing Street Christmas party