Celebrating the diversity of our network

Our Community Engagement Intern, Kirsten Cooper, blogs about the value of connecting the diverse range of organisations in our network.

We’ve been welcoming lots of new members to our Online Centres Network – over the past year 1,000 organisations have already joined! I’m lucky enough to co-host our welcome meetings, where we introduce all of the brilliant opportunities available to our network including the National Databank, training and meet-ups and Learn My Way

One of the things I love about delivering the welcome meetings is the opportunity not only to say hello to organisations, but also to meet the faces behind the names. It’s wonderful to have that personal touch and to see the people who are working so hard within their communities.  

Attendees also have the opportunity to ask us any questions that they may have about the membership offer, which is a really great way for us to gain an understanding of the needs of our centres and get to know them better.

Something I find really interesting about the welcome meetings is the wide range of organisations from all over the UK that are joining us in our mission to help fix the digital divide. The variety of organisations means that a range of different groups of digitally excluded people are being reached, which is really inspiring. 

In the past few months, it’s been brilliant to welcome so many amazing organisations at our meetings including:

  • Refugee and asylum seeker support
  • Foodbanks
  • Mental health charities
  • Local councils
  • Housing associations
  • NHS support teams
  • Women’s shelters
  • Support for carers
  • Employment and careers services

And many more! 

To highlight a few examples of our new joiners…

  1. Age UK BaNES – who work hard to promote digital and a range of other services within older communities in Bath and North East Somerset to ensure their wellbeing
  2. Rock Trust – a homelessness charity in Scotland who work to make sure that people have access to services that help them to avoid, survive and move on from homelessness
  3. East London Business Alliance – who build relationships between businesses and local communities to strengthen them and tackle social inequalities, and are delivering free data via the National Databank 
  4. Kurdish and Middle Eastern Women’s Organisation – who provide specialist services to support and empower women to lead a quality life free from violence, discrimination and injustice and regularly attend our free training sessions
  5. Caerphilly Libraries – who have registered over 15 different libraries to the Online Centres Network to support their communities with digital inclusion as well as other learning and support opportunities 

I think  one of the fantastic things about being a member of our network is the opportunity to connect with other organisations, whether you’re supporting the same communities or not. There’s so much value in sharing knowledge and ideas when offering digital inclusion support. The welcome meetings have shone a light on the fact  some organisations are just starting their digital inclusion journeys and others have lots of experience – the opportunity to come together and share is invaluable. 

If you’re a new member to our network and you haven’t attended a welcome meeting and would like to, please contact community@goodthingsfoundation.org.

If you’re a community organisation who would like to join our network and start delivering free digital inclusion support, you can register for the Online Centres Network.


Kirsten Cooper

Community Engagement Intern

Kirsten works with the team to support all the brilliant organisations in our network. She works to make sure the network has the best possible experience through resources, training and support. Kirsten loves getting to talk directly with the network about all the amazing work that they’re doing and understanding their experiences.