We're campaigners. People who are digitally excluded lack a voice and visibility in the modern world, as government services and democracy increasingly move online.
Get Online Week
The last few months have shown us just how much of a difference the internet can make to our lives. But too many people are still being left behind, without the skills or access they need to benefit from being online.
Get Online Week 2020 – taking place 19-25 October – is here to speak for these people, and to help them find free and friendly support, so they can make the most of the internet.
The benefits of being online during lockdown were huge. Video calls helped us to safely see our loved ones. Digital tools meant that millions of people could work from home, and children could keep up with their schoolwork. And for those people for whom even a trip to the supermarket was a significant risk to their health, internet shopping was a lifeline.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for everyone. 9 million people in the UK can’t use the internet or their device without help, and 4.7 million people don’t have any digital skills at all. These people were left even more isolated than the rest of us.
Fix the Digital Divide
In the UK there are 7 million people who do not have the internet at home due to lack of affordability, there are over 10 million people who don’t have a smartphone, and we know that digital exclusion is a determinant of health inequality.
When COVID-19 struck, we knew that millions of people would be denied basic human needs due to their lack of a device, connectivity and skills. Suddenly, people could not register for help on recommended websites for healthcare, couldn’t shop online or support their children’s learning, register for government support and funds, or speak to friends and family.
We know that people who need to self-isolate are putting their health at risk by going out, just because they don’t have a device to connect to the internet, as well as lacking affordable data and the skills to use the internet in a purposeful way.