HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network

About HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network

HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network is a network of voluntary and community sector organisations across London working for equality, rights and social justice and against discrimination. We are currently funded by City Bridge Trust, Trust for London and the National Lottery.

Under our Bridging Divides funding we work to ensure that specialist equality and human rights groups, particularly the smaller and user led ones, and the Londoners they work with, can connect and work together across London and across equality specialisms. With our members we work to make equality issues central in local and regional decision making, and to raise awareness and work more closely with universities, think tanks, professional bodies and business. This funding also supports our core activities as a network: regular bulletins and information provision, knowledge sharing, signposting, website and networking.

The Trust for London project funds our Policy and Campaigns work, which supports organisations to campaign together on equality and rights issues of joint importance. Currently campaigns are focused around support for Deaf and disabled refugees and asylum seekers and Digital Exclusion and we are currently developing a theme with members on Decent Homes as a Human Right. We lead for Disabled customers on the National Asylum Stakeholder Forum Equality Sub-Group, who work alongside the Home Office to ensure the rights of asylum seekers are protected, and established and used to host Charities Challenging Hate Crime, the London pan equality hate crime network.

In the NetEquality project, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund Reaching Communities, through the Cornerstone Fund, dozens of smaller user-led and ‘grass roots’ equality groups and equality partners in London are working together. Over an initial two years, to mid 2021, we will design, test and pilot exciting new ways to use networking and online tools to strengthen our connections and quickly and easily share information and knowledge. We will be exploring ways to join up our voices for solidarity and influence and for more coordinated, effective campaigning to fight discrimination and improve equality in London. Through Stronger Together, funded by Awards for All, we provide activities and support for individual campaigners and those in the smaller, user-led and grass roots groups.

Find us online

Visit our website at http://www.HEARequality.org.uk/

Join one or more of our mailing lists:


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Digital Inclusion - London Network

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Decent Homes As A Human Right

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Latest posts

Tell Us What You Are Doing to Tackle Digital Exclusion and Poverty

Are you doing work in London to promote digital inclusion, tackle exclusion and poverty (including the impact of digital exclusion on things like access to benefits, cost of living support, financial services, jobs and education)?

Then tell HEAR about it!

We can:

-Share your work through our general and dedicated digital inclusion bulletins

-Invite you to our Digital Inclusion London Network meetings to share and present about your work

-Support influencing with decision and policy makers in London

Get in touch:


Help Vital Cost of Living Support Reach Digitally Excluded Londoners!

In recognition that not all Londoners in need of the help available through the Mayor's online Cost of Living Hub:


will be able to access resources online, the GLA have produced hard copy leaflets containing similar important information, to be distributed to those Londoners most likely to be digitally excluded.

HEAR is calling for its members who deliver front line services to any community where this is likely to apply to contact us, and we will arrange for sets of the leaflets to be sent to you for distribution.

Thank you to those members who have already agreed to take part, including:

-Disability Network Hounslow

-Our Barn

-Parents and Communities Together

-Southwark Travellers Action Group

-Stepping Stone 4

-Tower Hamlets Alzheimers Society

-Voluntary Action Islington

If you would like to join them and distribute leaflets please email:


Call to Action: Donate Your Devices-plus London's Digital Inclusion Service

Get Online London is a project of the London Office of Technology and Innovation and the Good Things Foundation

They are calling for donations of unwanted equipment and devices to help thousands of digitally excluded Londoners get online.

You can find out all about the project and how to donate at:




And here are links and resources from the Good Things Foundation:

Good Things Foundation's London Digital Inclusion Service,

Get Online London, will be made up of grassroots organisations in London that are all working to deliver digital inclusion support in their local communities.

If you're a community organisation based in London that is or wants to support your community members to get online and access the benefits of digital - then joining the service will help you do exactly that. It is free to join and offers a range of free benefits, including access to the National Databank.

If you're an organisation based in London that wants to embed digital inclusion support, participation is free, you just have to join the Online Centres Network.

You can email:


And visit:


for all the information and resources

HEAR - Superhighways Partnership Projects and Superhighways Tech and Digital Training and Support

HEAR is proud to be a partner in 2 exciting projects led by Superhighways.

Digital Foundations is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and aims to help small charities and community groups get the most out of digital and technology to enhance their work.

Datawise London is funded by City Bridge Trust through the Cornerstone Fund, and aims to support charities and community groups to more effectively understand, collect and use data, both their own and data from external sources that can provide evidence and insights for their work.

Superhighways also provide a whole range of free training on digital and tech matters for small charities and community groups

Find out more here:


Superhighways Vacancy-Tech Development Adviser-deadline 8th November

Tech Development Adviser

Superhighways are looking for an exceptional individual to join us and work alongside our partners HEAR Network, Refugee Council and Voice Online Communities CIC to co-produce and deliver this new programme of training, advice and support.

You'll be enthusiastic, enjoy working on a variety of tasks, and motivated to further your interest in digital technologies. You'll know that small community organisations are crucial to civic life in London, often at the forefront of helping people overcome the toughest challenges. You'll be determined to ensure that they can continue to do what they do best, backed by the right technology that works for them.

Your varied working day might consist of researching simple secure cloud solutions for email and file storage; testing low cost collaboration tools; advising on procuring and setting up best value devices; or creating resources e.g. to help small groups mitigate against cyber attacks including phishing. You'll be as confident troubleshooting tech issues as you will be supporting organisations develop digital strategies to meet future goals.

You'll be a patient, clear communicator, able to explain complex processes and technology in ways that people with different backgrounds, knowledge and expertise can understand and action.

You will want to empower and inspire both small charities and community groups and the people they support to be the change they want to see in the capital and beyond.

Full details here:


Deadline 8th November 2022

Digital Exclusion Campaign Video Project

HEAR Digital Exclusion Campaign Video Project

Over the past few years, prior to the Covid pandemic, during and immediately after, HEAR members, through support from funding by Trust for London, produced a set of powerful written case studies to illustrate a whole range of issues around digital exclusion and digital poverty.

Now some of the contributors are taking part in an exciting project to produce short videos, based on the issues raised in their case studies and new emerging priorities, learning new skills through working with our partners Superhighways, skills which will help them in future campaigning work and add to their organisational capacity. Again we are grateful to Trust for London for funding this exciting work, and we will be launching some of the first videos very soon, so watch out for this soon!

As an insight into one of the contributions, from Community Action to Inspire Hope, here are some thoughts from the group on the impact of digital exclusion that inspired their video:

"We agreed on the theme of lack of agency of digitally excluded people in the discussions/ policy responses to 'include' them.

This theme is manifested into the antithesis of light and darkness in the (digital) sphere, and reflected by the two contrasting sides of the video.

Digitally excluded People expect policy makers to have a clear understanding of what's happening in this dark unknown. ... and they are the ones 'with the light', e.g. resources + technical knowledge.

But when we look.....it's revealed that they struggle to see the issue clearly. Perhaps they lack the perspectives of the excluded, those being left behind by the digital transformation."

The full piece from which this is taken, and the video, along with others from the project, will be available soon.

HEAR work on Digital Poverty

HEAR and Digital poverty.

Digital poverty can take many forms, including Londoners not being able to afford home broadband, mobile calls and data, or devices that are needed for digital access. The impacts are wide ranging, from being able to access vital services such as online health services, applying for jobs or welfare benefits, to contributing to isolation and loneliness.

There are also less obvious impacts of a move to more and more digital interaction; for example when opportunities to use cash are withdrawn this can very negatively affect those who rely on using cash to manage their budget, or who don't have access to a bank account, not forgetting the Big Issue seller who finds it hard to sell because nobody has cash on them.

Here are some of the things HEAR has been doing to help combat digital poverty:

Age UK London


have been leading the way on campaigning for wider access to social tariffs for home broadband, and HEAR has been pleased to support their campaign and add the voices of its members to this work-we are thrilled that Community Fibre have broadened access to considerably cheaper tariffs for Londoners, and we hope that other providers will follow.

HEAR and its members have been using every opportunity to talk about digital poverty and the wider impact of digital exclusion related to the cost of living crisis.

We've been talking about this at:

-The London Digital Exclusion Task Force

-The London Assembly Planning Committee (thank you to Just Space for this opportunity)

-The Mayor's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group

-The London Office of Technology and Innovation Conference

You can watch a video from the Conference here:


And here are some useful resources from the Conference:

And here are the links to the Digital Inclusion Initiatives 'digital exhibition' from the conference (you will find HEAR's contribution in the 'support' section:

We were also pleased to facilitate an Open Space discussion on this topic at the recent Health Inequalities and the Cost of Living Crisis workshop, organised by the GLA and Shared Intelligence, at the Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre.

We were delighted to be involved in the design and planning of the workshop and to facilitate members both to attend and contribute to the agenda. We made important new contacts and there are action points for us to take forward for the future. Please watch out for more...

We've also been helping to promote the Unconnected programme, which can provide free SIMS with calls and data for charities and community groups, either for themselves or to distribute to members and beneficiaries; details can be found at:


and you can contact Ben Mansell their founder direct for more information on:


07789 796650

Join the Digital Inclusion London Network!

HEAR convenes the London Digital Inclusion Network, a network for any community group, charity or individual campaigner or expert by experience for whom tackling digital exclusion and digital poverty is important.

The network members meet online approximately every 2 months to share knowledge, insights and information, learn about good practice and new resources that can support their work, and to support joint campaigning and lobbying.

In recent months issues we have covered include:

Access to digital skills, especially for those often neglected in outreach, e.g. older people

Access to free or low cost devices

Access to free or low cost data, calls and texts, home broadband (including improving access to social tariffs)

Provision of alternatives to digital as a right, not an 'optional extra'

The impact of the reduction of use of cash on specific groups, including homeless people, older and disabled people

The importance of social infrastructure, for example libraries, community centres

The impact of digital exclusion on the ability to access health services, jobs, benefits

Digital privacy and issues of trust

And much more.....

If you would like to join our dedicated Digital Inclusion mailing list and/or attend one of the meetings please contact:


LB of Waltham Forest-Digital Inclusion Outreach Vacancy

London Borough of Waltham Forest

We have been asked to share details of the below vacancy:

"This dedicated post will be driving our flagship Digital Champion Network and Fund - recruiting, training and deploying volunteers, and providing our local VCS partners with microgrants to do the same. We see this post-holder spending their time supporting external partners across the borough and representing the voice of the community in conversations regarding digital inclusion at the council. "

Please share with anyone who might be interested

Full details:


Deadline: 17th November

Reducing loneliness -dementia support through digital technology

How can digital technologies help to provide community dementia support and reduce loneliness?

The COVID-19 pandemic was particularly hard on people living with dementia as lockdown stripped away the routines and family and community support they rely on. Community dementia support groups had to adapt quickly to use digital technologies to re-engage and support people in their homes in creative ways tailored to the specific needs of people living with dementia and their carers.

The London Office of Technology and Innovation and the Helix Centre (part of the UK Dementia Research Institute Care Research & Technology Centre at Imperial College London) undertook a London-wide project to co-design and pilot new ways to provide community dementia support.

Although this project focused on the needs of people living with dementia, it has the potential to inform and impact community support for other groups in a post-COVID society.

To enable other organisations to undertake similar initiatives, the Helix Centre has developed an easy-to-use toolkit capturing the learning and resources for each of the project phases.