First-ever virtual Get Online Week levels up digitally excluded UK

18 Oct 2020


A national campaign to reach the 9 million people in the UK who are unable to use the internet fully returns next week - held virtually for the first time ever.

As the UK is thrown into a harsh Winter with intensifying restrictions, Get Online Week will see hyperlocal community partners assist and facilitate digital learners at hundreds of events.

For the first time in the campaign’s 15 year history, community organisations will run hundreds of life-transforming events in a variety of locations - all with no cost to the attendees. These COVID-safe events will minimise the need for in-person contact, with local support for those needing help to get online.

Pandemic restrictions show the internet is an essential skill critical for everyday life. It allows almost half of all British workers to work from home1, helps isolated people stay connected, and makes sure children can stay on track with their schooling. 4 out of 5 people polled in a recent survey say digital technology has been a vital support to them in lockdown, and 78% say the pandemic has escalated the importance of digital skills.2

However, 7.6m workers are facing redundancy or reduced hours and pay due to COVID-193, and 82% of jobs required digital skills, even before the pandemic4.

Improving the UK's digital capability is the solution. It will reduce the devastating economic fallout of the pandemic by protecting livelihoods, in turn will improving the wellbeing of millions of people.

Supported by BT and the Department for Education, Get Online Week is here to help make sure that everyone in the UK has access to free, friendly and local support to improve their digital skills.

From Zoom interview masterclasses and CV workshops to online coffee mornings and Skype quizzes, events right across the UK will help people grow their essential digital skills and confidence with digital.

Get Online Week is delivered by Good Things Foundation, the UK’s leading social and digital inclusion organisation. The charity helps people develop and improve their digital skills and teaches them how to use the internet safely and confidently, so they can be happier, healthier and better off.

Helen Milner, Chief Executive at Good Things Foundation says: “Now more than ever, digital skills are critical to the wellbeing of the most vulnerable people in our society. Locked-out and locked down, they’re facing a bleak winter.

Get Online Week will begin to transform the lives and experiences of the 9 million who lack confidence, helping them find the support and resources they need to stay connected to society and essential Government services.”

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s consumer brands says: ““As our world becomes increasingly reliant on technology, having the skills and confidence to access digitally-enabled services has never been more important – whether that’s being able to message a loved one on WhatsApp, or order groceries or prescription medicines online.

“It is clear these services are a lifeline for millions of people across the UK and we have a responsibility to make sure those with lower digital skills are not left behind, especially in the face of such uncertain times. This is why we are proud to support Get Online Week 2020, so we can continue our work to ensure everyone is able to learn the skills they need to access vital services and stay connected to friends and family.”

If you’d like to take your next step to making more of the internet - or want to help someone else do so - you can find your nearest Get Online Week event at www.getonlineweek.com.

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