Two great years and many more to come

December always seems to come around fast and this year is certainly no different. On the first of the month, here at Tinder Foundation we celebrated our 2nd birthday and what a whirlwind two years it’s been! We’ve achieved so much in such as short space of time and if I had to think of one word that sums up how we’ve changed, we’ve matured.

On Day One, when we started as Online Centres Foundation, we had one contract with the Skills Funding Agency and through the sheer dedication and hard work of everyone at the organisation – and of course in the UK online centres network – we now work with both the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Work and Pensions, and we’ve recently won a tender to work with NHS England, and a bid for English Language learning from the Department for Communities and Local Government – four big Government Departments in total. We’ve also got a decent commercial income stream, we’re working with the Corporate partners, and won a handful of smaller bids and contracts too. Diversification was the goal and we’ve done pretty well at this so far.

This blog is for me – and all of us – to reflect a bit about how much we’ve achieved, and to say a very big thank you to all of the UK online centres who work tirelessly in their communities to help anyone who walks through their door, no matter how little they know and no matter how nervous they are about learning more. And just to remind you, here are a few things we’ve got up to in the last two years:

Since 1st December 2011:

  • Together with the network, we have helped over 325,000 people to get online and learn basic online skills.

  • With great support from the Nominet Trust we’ve successfully set up the Community How To website and have had well over 20,000 unique users on the site.

  • We launched our Online Basics qualification and just under 2,000 people have completed their qualification already. With centres coming on board all the time there will be many more to come.

  • It’s hard to believe that there have been six fantastic local and national promotional campaigns

  • Learn My Way has gone from just six modules to a whopping 20 and counting. And there’s so much great work going on behind the scenes to make badging work and to co-create content, and to create links with Careers as well as Jobs.

  • We’ve launched the Digital Housing Hub and encouraged over 1,750 people to become members of it and discuss all things social housing and digital inclusion. And we won an award for it too.

  • The new UK online centres website was launched recently with a great new map showing all 5,000 centres and really good data sharing with the centres about their learners and what they’re doing on Learn My Way.

  • We’re working with the network to support over 25,000 volunteers.

  • We held our first Digital Evolution conference which was a great success – and yesterday we held our second, which might even have been better!  

  • And we’ve grown up and changed our name to Tinder Foundation.

Apologies for such a long, and not exhaustive, list – but I am proud. Each one of these actions has a very positive impact on so many people’s lives – driving a great service, or making sure the online courses grow with people’s needs, or helping our local partners train their volunteers all results in people gaining new essential 21st digital skills, many going on to get a job or have a better chance of getting a job, being healthier and happier and more involved in their local communities.

It’s been an amazing two years and I would like to say a massive well done to all the team at Tinder Foundation. And, thank you to all our partners – UK online centres locally – and all of the wonderful people who work with us on a national level.

Time to blow out the candles and look forward to many, many more great years to come.

One thought on “Two great years and many more to come

  1. Pingback: Two great years and many more to come – Helen Milner | Public Sector Blogs

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