What do 56,000 people look like?

16 Jan 2020 |Written by Chris Andersson


What do 56,000 people look like? I don’t mean the number of red-heads or moustaches or how many people would be over 6 foot. But how do you picture what a group of 56,000 people would look like, all in one place?

Of course, the tradition with this sort of question is to refer to the doubledecker bus. Apparently you’d need at least 700 to get everyone on, and that’s with the aisles full, as well as all seats.

How about this? It’s a little more than a capacity crowd at a Manchester City home match.

Or if, football’s not your thing, it’s five times the number of athletes expected to take part in this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Why do I ask? Well, it’s the number of people - not all in one place, but spread right across the UK - who we reached during this year’s Get Online Week, helping them to get more out of life online.

This week we released the final report on our big digital inclusion campaign (in this country - more on our colleagues in Australia later) and it’s fair to say I’m very pleased with some of the numbers we can share.

In one way or another, I’ve been involved in Get Online Week since 2011, managing the campaign since 2015, so I’m hugely proud that this year saw almost 1,200 organisations reach that huge number of 56,239 across nearly 4,000 individual events.

To give a bit of context, that’s 75% more events than last year, 40% more people reached and 35% more event-holders - and our biggest Get Online Week in many many years.

The fantastic team at Good Things worked their socks off to deliver a campaign that hit these heights. So, well done us!

Except, it’s not us. It’s you.

If you’re reading this, I hope you consider yourself a friend of Good Things Foundation and a believer in the essential value of access the internet, and access to the skills needed to use it with confidence. If so, you’re a part of Get Online Week.

You might be a member of our incredible thousands-strong Online Centres Network. About 80% of Get Online Week event holders were members of the network, so it truly couldn’t have had the scale it did without you.

You might be a supporter of the campaign who shared messages with your own networks, encouraging them to hold or attend events near them. The campaign wouldn’t have had the same scope without you.

You might be one of the key partners that provided the essential support needed to send out community event packs (in English and Welsh), build a campaign website, and provide Digital Champions at events across the UK. Get Online Week couldn’t have had the same impact without you.

Maybe you just followed @GetOnlineWeek on Twitter and liked or retweeted the odd post from some of the amazing local events. The campaign had the reach it did because of you.

So, all of that is to say a huge thank you, to you, whoever you are and however you got involved. There are 56,000 people who are better placed to start getting more out of life online because of you.

And this is before I even mention Australia! Last year was the second time Get Online Week landed in Aus. We’ve been pleased to share the expertise we’ve gained from well over ten years worth of campaigns in the UK, but the team over there has used their national and local knowledge, their creativity, and their hard work to do something incredible. But I’ll let them tell you about that...

Now, enough of this patting ourselves on the back, there are still millions more people who can't get more out of life online, both in the UK and Australia. Who’s up for Get Online Week 2020?

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