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Being part of the network helps drive positive change: insights from the network survey

The National Digital Inclusion Network is at the core of all the work we do at Good Things Foundation. It is through the thousands of community organisations and businesses in our network that we’re able to reach people facing digital exclusion. Without your expertise, connections and relationships with local communities, we wouldn’t be able to achieve our mission: to fix the digital divide - for good.

It’s really important that we understand your experiences of working with Good Things as part of the network. We want to make sure we’re doing our best to support you, and that, through you, beneficiaries are receiving the right kind of support.. 

Last November, we opened our network survey to capture your views and we’re really grateful to the hubs who took time to share their opinions and experiences. We’ve analysed the data and wanted to share some of the headline findings with you. 

We hope you might find some of these insights useful, perhaps for demonstrating the impact of the work you do, or for making the case to stakeholders for more resources to support digital inclusion.

Headlines from the survey

The majority of the people you support need help with using the internet:

  • 79% of hubs reported that at least half of all the people they support need help with using the internet
  • 14% of hubs reported that all the people they support need digital help.

Being part of the network has helped you to achieve impact:

90% of hubs agreed that being part of the network had helped them make positive changes in at least one area of impact around digital inclusion. For example: 

  • Over 75% of hubs agreed that being part of the network had helped them to support more people to access affordable internet and / or achieve better outcomes for people struggling to access or use the internet;
  • 70% of hubs agreed it had helped them to support more people to build digital confidence and skills, and
  • 68% agreed it had helped them to support a wider range of people struggling to access or use the internet.

The data also showed that hubs that have attended Good Things meet-ups and / or training events tended to report more positive impacts than those who have not.

Here’s what one hub had to say: 

“We have distributed [free data] in large numbers at food banks so that people who are struggling with the cost of living increases don't need to worry about losing connections”

Room for improvement

In general, you’re satisfied with Good Things services. There was an average of 87%satisfaction level across The National DatabankThe National Device Bank and Learn My Way. However, there is room for improvement:

  • You reported a range of barriers to helping more people access the Databank. The most common barriers are: a lack of devices, people not wanting to change their phone numbers and a lack of staff to support this work
  • Some hubs find the process of distributing data and devices too time-consuming and challenging.

It’s clear that many hubs feel they need more resources to help them continue to deliver digital support to their communities:

  • Access to more and longer-term funding is a really big concern for many of you; “More money is always the big one!”
  • More opportunities requested to share learning and connect with each other, face-to-face and online.

In response to what you’ve told us, we are:

  • Working hard to scale-up the National Device Bank, to make more devices available to beneficiaries
  • Exploring ways to make it easier to get people set up with data and devices.
  • Looking at the way we currently give out grants to hubs
  • Continuing with our programme of events including meet-ups and training.

Prize winners

And finally, we want to congratulate the three hubs who have won the prize draw for participating in the survey. They are: St John’s Wood Library, Chatting Chimers and Red Chair Highland (formerly known as Libertie Project) - well done, and thank you for sharing your views! We will be in touch to arrange your prize.

Continuing to listen

It’s important to us to keep up to date with your experiences of being part of the network, so we plan to run the survey every 6 months. We’ll be sharing the next version towards the end of May, so please look out for it. As we’re keen to keep improving how we capture information and learn about the impact of our work, the next survey may look slightly different to the last one. 

We’re really keen to hear the views of the broad range of hubs in our network, whether you’re actively engaged with all parts of our offer, or whether you’re only just getting started. To make sure our support and offer reflect the needs of all the different communities you support, it’s really important that we hear from as many of you as possible.

Thanks again to all of you for your valuable work, and for helping us evaluate our progress towards fixing the digital divide.

If you have any questions about the findings from the last survey, or the next survey please get in touch at

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