As you’ll know, a general election has been called for 12 December 2019.
During this period, we will be pushing for a commitment to a 100% digitally included nation from all political parties - and we need your help!
With 11.9 million people lacking the essential digital skills for life in the UK, people are at risk of being left further behind. It’s important that we bridge the digital divide and support everyone to gain the skills and confidence they need to thrive in a digital world.
The run-up to an election can bring a lot of opportunities for your centre to build relationships with prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs) who are always looking for ways to support their constituents. The successful parliamentary candidate will go on to represent your constituency, whilst unsuccessful candidates may go on to become your MP at a later date - so it’s important to build connections as early as possible.
There are some rules set out by the Electoral Commission that apply in the pre-election period - you can’t declare support for any political party. It’s fine to interact with individual candidates, but your centre must not endorse any of them. That’s why it is important to reach out across the political parties.
There are many reasons to engage with PPCs:
- To gain publicity and secure support for your activities.
- To raise awareness throughout your area, and increase fundraising potential.
- To connect the people supported in your centre with their elected representatives.
- To make connections and expand your network, which may allow you to improve your services.
So how can you help bridge the digital divide, and build that relationship along the way?
Send them a letter. Explain what you do, and where possible, provide case studies from your centre along with some statistics about your reach and impact. Make it relevant to them by making it local - we have a template letter you can personalise. You may also want to sent our General Election infographic, which sets out our main ask to all political parties.
Invite them to your centre. Invite them to an event or for a visit where they can see the impact you have on the local community for themselves. Take photos for social media, tag them in your post - and remember to use the #BridgingtheDigitalDivide hashtag
Support us on social media. We’re going to be doing lots of social media over the coming weeks and it would be great to get your support for our #BridgingtheDigitalDivide campaign. We’re asking all parties to invest in closing the skills and inclusion gap, combating digital inequality in the UK. We’ve put together a handy social media guide for you.
Download social media assets
Do let us know if you make contact, and if you already have a relationship with parliamentary candidates at firstname.lastname@example.org