Today sees the start of the eleventh annual Get Online campaign – the biggest digital inclusion campaign in the country. With over 1,000 organisations registered to take part, there will be thousands of events taking place in communities across the country, where people can get free and friendly help to Try 1 Thing.
We’ll be asking thousands of people to do just one thing online that they usually do offline. It could be their first online shopping experience or video call with friends or relatives, setting up online banking, booking a GP appointment, claiming benefits, or applying for a job online: anything that they haven’t had the skills or confidence to try before.
Why are we doing it?
Earlier this year we released a piece of research in partnership with BT and Professor Simeon Yates from the University of Liverpool analysing the 2015 Ofcom Media Literacy Survey – The real digital divide?. This broke down the demographics of people who are not utilising the full benefits of the internet. We found that there were people who did not use the internet very often but also there were people – previously thought of as internet users – who use the internet every day but only use two or three websites or apps. We called these two groups limited users.
In today’s digital society it’s more important than ever not to leave people behind and that’s why campaigns like Get Online Week are so important.
There were so many great stories from our ‘poster men and women’ of the campaign. Ravi Sundararajan is one of them. When he was younger, his prospects for the future were looking better than ever but a change in circumstances meant that he found himself homeless and alone. He was picked up by a homeless charity and eventually found his way to Adult Education Gloucestershire where he’s learnt digital skills, built his confidence back up and is feeling better than ever.
As always I will be out visiting events throughout the week, as will other Good Things Foundation staff. We’re all really looking forward to it as it’s a great opportunity for us to get out there, on the ground, and experience the great work that the Online Centres Network do firsthand.
There were a couple of fun new additions to the marketing pack this year – the #try1thing cut out and the #try1thing bingo game. Here’s me with the cut out – the one thing that I’m trying online is making a vlog about Get Online Week (and I’m a bit scared about it actually). I’d love it if you could use the cutout and encourage others (colleagues or even friends and family) to do so too to show us what you’ve been up to during the week. The bingo is a great way to engage learners and there’s lots of different ways you can play it. Check out the Get Online Week website to find them out.
As well as community partners holding campaign events, Get Online Week is also supported by committed private sector partners and I’m delighted that Lloyds Banking Group is sponsoring Get Online Week for the second year running. Lloyds are leaders in digital inclusion, having trained thousands of their staff as Digital Champions and pledged to help millions of people, businesses and charities improve their digital skills. Their support is vital in addressing digital exclusion across the UK. Thank you.
That’s all from me for now but I’ll be back blogging again after the campaign to share all the wonderful things that I see and do. To everyone taking part, have an amazing week and together we can help tens of thousands of people to #try1thing online.