Thousands more people to get online thanks to £4m national lottery funding
3 Aug 2017 11:37 AM
A pioneering initiative that supports people to improve their digital skills is being extended for a further three years thanks to £4 million of National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund.
The programme, One Digital, aims to support people to get online or to develop their basic digital skills through the help of Digital Champions, who have been trained to provide one-to-one support. This second phase of funding will be used to expand the programme and transform digital skills. It aims to reach another 40,000 people through 4,000 Digital Champions, improving the digital skills of those who can benefit most.
Results from the programme’s first phase found that of those surveyed, more than 80 percent said they have more confidence in their basic digital skills, a better understanding of the benefits of digital technologies, and increased motivation to use them.
One person said: “It has changed my life. I had no confidence in myself. But once I learned to use the iPad, to get in touch with people, I actually started to do things that I have always wanted to do but have never had the confidence to do. I am learning to swim! And I have joined an art class. All because I got a bit more confidence in myself through going to the computer sessions.”
Together, One Digital will benefit young adults seeking work, over 65s, charities and the people they support. Having better digital skills and more confidence will enable people to access essential online services, search and apply for jobs and stay in touch with friends and family.
Steve Hampson, Head of Innovation & Programmes at Age UK, said: “Being confident in your own digital skills isn't just a nice to have; improved digital skills enable people to apply for jobs, pay bills and get the most cost-effective goods and services.
“The success of the first phase of One Digital shows just how much can be achieved when diverse organisations work together. We’re particularly pleased to have established a strong cohort of Digital Champions with a common and active interest in supporting digital inclusion. We look forward to the second phase of One Digital which will enable us to support many more people to get online, learn new skills and get more out of the digital world.”
Joe Ferns, Big Lottery Fund UK and Knowledge Director, said: “It’s important people of all ages have the opportunity to develop the right digital skills. This National Lottery funding will enable communities across the country to learn from one other and confidently navigate the digital world, whether it’s accessing online services or connecting with friends.”
The consortium partners include Age UK, Citizens Online, Clarion Housing Group, Digital Unite and the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations, and the service will be delivered through hundreds of local organisations, enabling even more people to get involved.
Notes to Editors:
For further information, case studies and interviews please contact: Sara Guy Sara.Guy@ageuk.org.uk, 020 3033 1430.
About One Digital
Since the launch of the first phase in January 2016, the programme has successfully helped more than 11,000 people across the UK to get online, with many people saying the confidence and skills they gained had been ‘life changing’, from support for job hunting to social engagement.
Additionally, over 1,000 Digital Champions have been recruited and trained, providing personal support to those seeking to get online, which has in turn improved their own confidence and digital expertise through helping others.
The One Digital Partners
Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances.
One Digital Phase 2 will see multiple partners across regions transforming digital skills delivery for older people in areas with high digital exclusion. Delivered by local Age UK’s, older people will be supported to learn how digital skills can benefit them, for example by enabling them to keep in contact with loved ones, make savings by shopping online and pursue hobbies.
Citizens Online (www.citizensonline.org.uk)
Citizens Online is a national charity that works in partnership with local councils, housing associations, job centres, corporates and the community and voluntary sector to tackle the issues of digital inclusion in a sustainable and scalable way.
For One Digital they will embed One Digital and its DC model further into our Digital Resilience approach, and will support the development of a long-term, scalable approach through action planning and partnership development across 20 locations. Phase 2 will enable a ‘deep dive’ in two locations (Brighton and Hove and Gwynedd (in the Welsh language)) showing transformation in action.
Clarion Housing Group
Clarion Housing Group is the largest Housing Association in the UK and social purpose is at our core. Our community investment programme is driven to help our residents develop skills which help them to improve their lives. Functional digital skills among some 18–24 year olds are not as strong as they need to be for them to enter the workforce, so we worked with One Digital to focus on supporting this group.
Digital Unite (www.digitalunite.com / www.digitalchampionsnetwork.com)
Digital Unite is one of the UK’s leading providers of digital skills learning and the only organisation that focuses exclusively on vocational training and support for Digital Champions.
For One Digital, Digital Unite will continue to facilitate the Digital Champion infrastructure for each partner project using their existing online train-the-trainer platform, the Digital Champions Network. With their evidence base and a learner-led co-design process, they will be using new technologies and teaching approaches to radically extend the Network’s support. Digital Unite will also be supporting up to 200 individuals and 25 organisations from a wide variety of sectors with establishing their own local Digital Champion movements underpinned by the Network’s products and services.
The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is the membership organisation for Scotland’s charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. A dedicated team is working across public, private and third sectors in Scotland to increase digital participation.
Their One Digital project will transform the Scottish third sector to become more digitally confident and capable. By creating a meaningful intervention at leadership, organisation and individual levels they will propel the third sector to the centre of the digital revolution.
About the Big Lottery Fund
The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It puts people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects.
It is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. In 2016/17 it awarded £712.7 million and supported more than 13,814 projects across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
Since June 2004 it has awarded £8.5 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people.