The impact of Covid-19

Covid-19 changed nothing and it changed everything. Millions of people are as excluded now as they were before and during the lockdown period, lacking the skills and affordable access they need to be part of our society. But Covid-19 changed everything because suddenly everyone else was aware that they could not live without the internet.

1 in 6 broadband customers – people who are already online – struggled to pay their bill during the Covid lockdowns (Citizens Advice, 2021).
Since the first Covid-19 lockdown started, 8% of parents from low-income households went into debt (or overdraft) to pay for internet access, compared to 2% from higher-income households. (Parentzone, 2021).

For people who are able to use technology, shifting everyday life online has been strange and unexpected, but not exactly a leap in the dark. For those millions who can’t, the lockdown has meant being literally cut off from the world and essential services – leading to loneliness and social isolation.

The huge restrictions on everyday life due to Covid-19 forced many of our community partners to shut their doors almost overnight. They found themselves unable to offer digital skills training using a blend of face-to-face support and online learning – an approach that has improved the lives of more than three million people since 2010.