How you can help us fix the digital divide this Get Online Week

Our Group CEO, Helen Milner OBE, writes about the importance of Get Online Week and how you can help us to fix the digital divide.

Today marks the first day of our annual digital inclusion campaign, Get Online Week, and we’re so excited to get started. Get Online Week raises national awareness of digital exclusion and helps equip people with the digital skills they need to participate in the online world. 

This week, our community partners across the UK are running local events to help people Try One Thing online and boost their digital knowledge. With 10 million people in the UK lacking the most basic digital skills, we must act now to make sure we aren’t leaving people locked out of the ever-evolving online world. That’s why Get Online Week is so important. The campaign helps people kickstart their digital skills journey with personalised, in person support. 

This Get Online Week we’re asking people to join us in our fight against digital exclusion. Here’s a few ways you can support our mission:

Join the National Databank 

The National Databank, created in collaboration with Virgin Media O2, is now being rolled out nationally. It has been fantastic to see the impact the databank is having already; our community partners have given out 90,947 SIMs to people in need so far.

However, it’s a real priority for more community organisations to sign up to the databank and help us get free mobile data into the hands of people who need it most. Internet connectivity is a lifeline that connects people to essential services and to their friends and family. As the cost-of-living crisis continues to worsen, this support is absolutely vital. With so many people and families experiencing strains on their finances right now, people shouldn’t have to sacrifice their internet connection this winter. 

You can read more about the National Databank here and find out more about how you can get involved. 

Donate devices to the National Device Bank

We’re building the UK’s first ever National Device Bank so we can pair mobile data with a free device to help people stay connected. We’re looking for businesses and public sector bodies to get on board, join the circular economy, and donate disused devices and tech to the National Device Bank. 

We’ve partnered with Reconome, expert in IT logistics and data assurance, to wipe, clean and refurbish redundant equipment to give it a productive second life – or recycle where that isn’t possible – helping to reduce e-waste. Together we are creating a scaled solution that is good for the planet and will fuel digital inclusion.

To inquire about donating devices, please complete this form

Amplify Get Online Week

We’d love for you to help amplify our message on social media this Get Online Week – the more we can get people talking – the better! Follow the Get Online Week Twitter account to reshare our content and use the hashtag #GetOnlineWeek when you’re talking about the campaign. 

Together we can raise awareness of digital exclusion and create a world where everyone can benefit from digital. 

Helen Milner

Helen Milner OBE

Group Chief Executive

Helen Milner OBE is the Group Chief Executive of Good Things Foundation. Founded as a staff-led mutual charity in the UK in 2011, Helen led the establishment of a subsidiary charity, opening an office in Sydney in August 2017, and running the Be Connected Network for the Australian Government.

Helen has over 30 years experience of working in and leading organisations creating and delivering education over and about the internet. She was awarded an OBE for services to digital inclusion in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. In 2017, she won the title of Digital Leader of the Year (UK) and was named by Computer Weekly as the 14th most influential person in UK IT in 2020. Working with British Parliament, Helen was a member of the Speaker's Commission for Digital Democracy and an Advisor on Digital Engagement to the Public Accounts Committee. She is a Board Member of FutureDotNow, a member of the Minister’s Digital Skills Partnership Board, and is on the Adult Advisory Group for MaPS (the UK’s Money and Pension Service).