£500,000 in National Lottery funding to upskill 4,000 people and support communities through COVID-19

03 Sep 2020

Good Things Foundation has been awarded £500,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund to bolster its work supporting communities affected by the COVID-19 crisis to engage with digital. 

Good Things Foundation will use the cash to equip and upskill 4,000 vulnerable and disadvantaged people in England; people whose quality of life has been made harder during the pandemic through digital exclusion. 

Digital exclusion means not having the access, skills and confidence to use the internet safely. This matters more than ever at a time when access to the internet is a lifeline, especially for those who are medically vulnerable. 
Where people lack an appropriate digital device and cannot connect to the internet at home, they are more at risk of social isolation, loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress.      

By December 2020, the funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, will have been used to acquire appropriate devices and connectivity (through SIMs or mobile dongles) and cover the cost of setting up the device. It will also be used to support people to get online and build their digital skills.

Since the start of the pandemic, community partners have seen a huge surge in demand for support with digital access, affordability and skills. Embedded in their local communities, they are best placed to identify those in greatest need of this support; and to ensure devices are distributed safely by community ‘digital champions’ who can offer remote and on-the-doorstep support with digital skills. 

Helen Milner OBE, Good Things Foundation Chief Executive, says: “We want to make sure that everyone - especially those most vulnerable in this pandemic - has the digital access, skills and support they need in these difficult times. Digital has been a lifeline for many of us in lockdown. Thanks to National Lottery, we will be able to purchase devices and data packages so that our community partners can extend this lifeline to those who need it most. We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised the value of our work and network of community partners.” 

Elly De Decker, England Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “As we all adapt to profound changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling loneliness and isolation is more important than ever.Thanks to National Lottery players, vital funding for Good Things Foundation will support people who have been digitally excluded during the pandemic, to learn the essential skills needed to help them feel better connected and less isolated to their community.”