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Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care Blog



Archive for June, 2024

Fried egg sandwiches and a recipe for digital inclusion

By Eleanor Mason, on 12 June 2024

The team behind the Digital Health Inclusion Project check in with the Breakfast and Browsing group at Burmantofts Community Friends. This blog was written by Lily Arnold and Emma Carta (UCL Research Assistants).


The Digital Health Inclusion Project at UCL has been researching Digital Health Hubs across Leeds for the last year. These hubs are part of a community based approach to digital inclusion, facilitated by 100% Digital Leeds, in collaboration with VCSOs and the health sector.

As the project wraps up, we took a last visit to the Breakfast and Browsing club run by Burmantofts Community Friends, to check in with the group members about our initial findings. Some members have given their time to the project already, but this workshop allowed us to open up discussions with the group and hear more experiences and perspectives.

Digital exclusion has wide-ranging implications for individuals, including poorer health outcomes, increased social isolation, and limited access to essential services. The National Government has been criticised for lacking a credible strategy and failing to prioritise the issue of digital exclusion effectively. But local authority led interventions in Leeds, which are delivered through community hubs and partnerships, play a crucial role in reaching digitally excluded individuals and building essential skills and confidence.

Workshop Overview

We began the session thinking about what works well at the Breakfast and Browsing group, asking the members why they enjoy coming along to the sessions. Then, armed with craft supplies, we turned these discussions into recipe books coming up with recipes for getting online.

While participants mostly only finished the covers of their recipe books, the conversations happening around the table were very insightful! As the workshop drew to a close, instead of a recipe book, members of the group asked for their work to be turned into a poster which could advertise the Breakfast and Browsing sessions to a wider audience.

Key Findings from Field Notes

  • Participants enjoyed and appreciated the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the group, and talked often about the importance of social connections and friendship. Multiple times, and in different contexts, the word ‘family’ was used to describe the bond the group felt to each other.
  • Breakfast and Browsing meets the need for personalised and flexible approaches to digital inclusion, and it recognises the diverse needs and preferences of individuals who attend the session.
  • In depth, ad hoc, one on one digital inclusion work takes place at the periphery of the sessions, with light touch scaffolding at the centre for those who want to engage.
  • The breakfast element of Breakfast and Browsing is so much more than just a meal, eating together contributes to the warm atmosphere of the group and establishes a trusted routine.
  • The time the group runs on a Monday morning was also noted as being useful, with participants describing their participation as starting the week off on the right foot.

Checking in with the Breakfast and Browsing group provided valuable perspectives from participants on what makes Digital Health Hubs successful. Just as the group requested, here is a poster which combines their different ideas together to advertise the session for more people to join: