Bath Digital Festival: Addressing the Digital Divide

Digital Divide

Mayden are proud sponsors of the Bath Digital Festival, running from 10th-14th July 2023. The five day festival brings people and technology together to explore the thriving digital scene in Bath.

We are a health tech company, and our life’s work is creating digital technology that changes what’s possible for clinicians and patients, both in the UK and abroad. Our clinical software – iaptus – is used by over 200 mental health services, including 100 NHS organisations and holds over 7m patient records.

The Mayden team is based in Oldfield Park, and as a local Bath based business we are keen to find ways to give back to the local community and make Bath a thriving city for tech.

Digital Divide

We recently had the pleasure of welcoming Wera Hobhouse, MP to Bath, at our offices to a Mayden hosted roundtable discussion, to discuss a subject close to our hearts: the Digital Divide.

The ‘Digital Divide’ refers to the complex and diverse social, economic and cultural issues that underpin digital exclusion and digital poverty; and ultimately describe an individual’s ability to be able to engage in a digital society.

We’re happy to note that this important topic is being discussed across the wider Bath tech sector, and addressing digital poverty will be a key subject matter at the Bath Digital Festival this year.

The Bath Digital Festival: Addressing the Digital Divide

From social security, to healthcare, education and training, to finding work and applying for jobs – critical services are emerging more and more online. However, you’re far less likely to have access to the online world if you’re living on a low income.

Bath and North East Somerset Council (BANES) is ranked in the 2019 Indices of Deprivation as one of the 20% most affluent areas in the country (BANES, 2022). However this average measure disguises the fact that Whiteway and Twerton West are among the 10% most deprived areas in England. In Twerton, 35% of children live in poverty (BANES, 2019) and the cost of living crisis is expected to result in 4,000 more people in BANES entering poverty in 2023 (BANES, 2022).

Digital Divide

In the greater UK, 1.7 million households do not have access to the internet at home. This means that for many in society, as digitisation progresses, services are becoming less accessible, not more. When 82% of jobs require digital skills, such digital exclusion can quickly divide society.

Mayden is keen to support the local community in addressing digital poverty. In an increasingly digital world, and as more of our services, including health services, are delivered or accessed online, it is imperative that a multi-pronged approach is used to ensure equitable access to care. Those that do not have access to technology or do not have the required skills, must be given the opportunity to learn and ability to access technology. And for those that cannot, or do not wish to use technology in this way, public services must ensure they have equally accessible routes available. Ultimately I believe that the digital divide in Bath is wholly addressable if we come together as a community.

There are many projects already underway in the Bath area, looking to address the digital divide, including: Bath Bridge’s DigitALL project, St John’s Foundation, BCS’ joint work with the Digital Poverty Alliance and the work of Tech4Good.

Bath Digital Festival - Tech For Good events that might be of interest:

If you would like to talk to us about projects we’re working on to address the Digital Divide, please get in touch. Or join the conversation online: @MaydenTweets #DigitalDivide


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