Get Online Week is a national, digital inclusion campaign organised by the Good Things Foundation.
‘3.7 billion people are digitally excluded worldwide (ITU, 2020). Over 13 million people in the UK lack the digital skills they need for work (Lloyds Consumer Digital Index, 2020). A lack of digital skills and access can have a huge and negative impact on a person’s life, leading to poorer health outcomes and a lower life expectancy, increased loneliness and social isolation, less access to jobs and education. If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s how vital digital skills are to our wellbeing and safety.’
Earlier this year we wrote about how loneliness was fast becoming one of the largest health concerns across the UK and digital exclusion the driving force behind widening the gap between isolation and inclusion.
In response, the St Antony’s Centre Reachout team have been working to ensure that members of the community are supported to become more digitally aware and included. In close partnership with our Training Department, we have additional support for our IT learners; alongside our accredited IT courses, learners can attend weekly informal Online Basics classes; learning how to socialise online, manage money online, finding a job online and much more. These sessions have been vital to our learner's digital inclusion, they are now equipped with digital skills for both the workplace and their personal lives. Learners have been supported to safely participate in an ever changing digital world, ensuring their inclusion and engagement with local communities and wider.
With Online Basics sessions across our three main Centres, (Manchester, Accrington, Blackpool and Liverpool), members of the community can find support to become more digitally included. Sessions run weekly at all of our Centres, and we also run a session at Age UK Tameside.