Luciana Berger, MP for Liverpool Wavertree, visited three digital hubs on Lodge Lane on Friday afternoon
Luciana was keen to see the work going on in the centres, in her role as Shadow Public Health Minister. The digital hubs are facilitated by the TUC and funded through the Mi (More Independent) health programme. The programme is designed to enable people to use technology to have more control over their own health care - but it is recognised that many people will not be able to do so currently, as they do not have basic digital skills.
The hubs visited included Granby Toxteth Development Trust, a long established voluntary organisation in L8, as well as Personal Success, based in the Tiber Enterprise offices, and the Somali Women's Centre, also on Lodge Lane.
Luciana spoke to learners and some of the Digital Champions who support people to get online, many of who are volunteers.
As well as hearing about the difference that getting online had made to the learners' lives, the MP was concerned to hear detailed examples of benefits sanctions linked to compulsion to do online job search in order to receive JSA, with little of no support from the DWP and Job centres. Luciana intends to table Parliamentary questions to examine how lack of digital access is pushing people further into poverty.
Laura Robertson-Collins at the TUC said: "it is well-known that those who are digitally excluded also suffer financial and social exclusion. It is vital that we support all of our community to take advantage of the opportunities that digital provides, and that no-one in society gets left behind"