UK online centres
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80,000 set to get online for Get online week 2010
National Get online week is set to take place 18 - 24 October, and organisers UK online centres expect it to be bigger and better than ever.
It's the fourth year of the 'Get online' campaign, which has grown from a Get online day in October to a full week of activity. The first Get online day got 10,000 people online for the first time, and it's expanded to the point where this year the aim is to get 80,000 people into nearly 3,000 Get online week events across the country.
An estimated 9.2 million Brits don't use computers and the internet, and with most new jobs now requiring IT skills, government and corporate services going online, new internet bargains and cheap communication channels, being left behind technology has some serious side effects. What's more, the problem is worse for those already at a disadvantage - if you're older, disabled, or on a low income, you're far more likely to be offline. The idea of Get online week is to give some of those people a chance to catch up.
Managing Director of UK online centres, Helen Milner, explains how the campaign has grown. She says: "This year we've extended Get online week so anyone can run an event - not just existing UK online centres. While the current freeze on public sector marketing spend means we can't run a big promotional campaign, we have been able to get event holders special packs to help them drive footfall on a local level. We know from experience that local activity on the ground is crucial in getting people to take action and get involved in their communities.
"We've also been working closely with UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox and her Race Online 2012 partners to raise more general awareness of the campaign, and the benefits of being online. Support for Get online week is coming from organisations including BT, mobile network 3, the Post Office and the Museums and Library Authority, while the BBC's First Click media literacy campaign is being timed to complement Get online week."
Belts are set to tighten even further across the public sector this month, with the Comprehensive Spending Review due in Get online week itself. That means that the sort of partnership marketing driving this year's Get online week will continue to be even more crucial for public and third sector organisations over the coming months.
Helen continues: "For Get online week, everyone's been incredibly focussed on making the journey to getting online as easy as possible for as many people as possible. With support from our partners, I'm now looking forward to a fantastic Get online week, and a bumper month for digital inclusion."
The partners in this year's Get online week are united under the Race online 2012 banner, part of Martha Lane Fox's plans to achieve a fully 'networked nation'. As the UK's Digital Champion she'll be in Bridlington in Yorkshire for Get online week, encouraging the whole town to get online. Meanwhile the Post Office will be running more than 50 events at branches across the country to help their customers get to grips with technology, including nine flagship events, and BT will be urging those already online to Pass IT on to their offline friends and family with their 'Get IT together' campaign.
For more information on the partners, Get online week itself and how you can still get involved, visit www.getonlineweek.com.
For more information on this press release please contact Abi Stevens on 0778 666 0689 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
Visit the www.ukonlinecentres.com/Getonlineweek to find out more about Get online week, or go directly to the Get online week website at www.getonlineweek.com. Here you can search for your nearest Get online week event, or choose to get someone else online by Passing IT on. You can also play the 'Splash and grab' game which is the focus of Get online week. It helps those new to computers and the internet practice their mouse skills, and register on myguide (www.myguide.gov.uk) for access to loads of free, bite-sized computer courses.
UK online centres provide millions of people with access to technology and support in using it, at 3,500 local centres. They offer free or low cost access to the internet and email, deliver online courses and encourage people to progress onto further learning.