25th Birthday Voices : Meet Shannon Digital Inclusion Researcher

Meet Shannon, a researcher and advocate who has dedicated her career to making a difference in the lives of those who need it most. Shannon’s journey began in academia, where she studied young people’s mental well-being and social media use. Her passion for making a positive impact led her to work with a charity supporting women with lived experiences of the sex industry and domestic abuse.

Now, as the Digital Inclusion Researcher at Carr Gomm, Shannon’s commitment to inclusion shines through in her work leading the Digital Inclusion Research Project. This project explores the digital needs and experiences of the people we support as well as staff members, to ensure everyone has the choice and opportunity to get online in a safe and meaningful way.

What sets Shannon apart is her approach to the project. Grounded in the principles of action research, she gathers feedback and research, then translates it into real change. Shannon enjoys working in this way and having a connection with the people we support. She loves “being able to hear people’s lived experience and actually support people to use their voice to drive forward change.”

During the height of Covid-19 restrictions, the Digital Inclusion Research Project was a lifeline for many people we support. As lockdowns and social distancing measures were put in place, people who were previously unfamiliar with technology had to adapt quickly to keep up with everyday tasks, such as GP appointments, paying bills, and grocery shopping.

Shannon worked with a core group of support practitioners and equipped them with the tools they needed to become Digital Ambassadors. They went on to upskill co-workers and people we support to share the learning and resources. The project also created an inclusive and enjoyable environment, using innovative methods such as online Sing-A-Longs and Bake Offs to engage people and break down barriers to digital inclusion. It’s no wonder that a person we support said,

“Shannon was the best thing to ever happen to Carr Gomm.”

Shannon feels fortunate to have the freedom to explore different approaches in her research and work with a diversity of teams who have their own unique insights into the digital divide. Her enthusiasm for inclusion and digital empowerment is contagious and her dedication is helping to enrich the lives of people we support every day.

Visit our Digital page to learn more about Shannon’s work and the Digital Inclusion Research Project.