Promoting closer involvement
A digital initiative in rural Sussex aims to help ease young people’s sense of isolation as well as benefiting whole communities. The Community 21 project sees young people being supported and trained in the co-design, development and use of apps that can eventually be used by the wider population.
Run by Action in Rural Sussex with the University of Brighton and supported by Nominet Trust, the project hopes the use of appropriate technology will help to improve young people’s involvement in community plans.
The initiative recognises that young people in rural areas typically feel disadvantaged by their isolation and have difficulty in accessing services that meet their needs – particularly in regards to access to college, training and/or employment opportunities, but also to health and wellbeing services and facilities. Traditionally, young people have often not been involved in decision-making and service planning within their own communities in ways that encourage their interest and which would make a difference to their lives.
Now, these individuals will be trained in and co-develop innovative and inclusive technologies, which will improve their skills, experiences and life chances. As well as being accredited for their own skills portfolio, the programme will also benefit their communities and others using the apps in the future.