In 2010, there were an estimated 9.2 million people in the UK who don't, won't or can't use computers and the internet. Significantly, those already at a social or financial disadvantage are more likely to be off-line, and missing out on the benefits digital technologies can provide. Levelling the digital playing field is an important step towards social equity, and the goal UK online centres are working towards
The UK online centres network has been in existence for longer; it was set up by government in 1999 to provide public access to computers.
Thousands of UK online centres now exist across England, providing valuable support to many people from all walks of life to access computers and the internet. Online basics is a qualification which provides complete novices to computers and the internet with the opportunity to gain a qualification; it gives people the skills and confidence to get online. The big aim of UK online is to get one million more people online by 2013 in order to improve individual lives, strengthen communities and achieve social inclusion.
UK online centres is part of Ufi, and receives core funding from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills via the Skills Funding Agency (SFA). In addition, UK Online works with a range of other partners whose funding and support enables them to extend their reach and deliver more digital inclusion projects, including Race Online 2012, the BBC, BT, Microsoft, Remploy, Three, the Post Office, and many more.
Online basics is a first-steps course for complete beginners. It was developed in partnership with Becta and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
Go ON is freely available on the web for anyone to use. You can find your nearest UK online centre which will provide internet access and support in using Go ON, or can start lessons at home with the assistance of friends or family.
Digital inclusion is a priority for the coalition government, seen as key to future economic success and competitiveness, social inclusion and community cohesion, and to the efficient and effective delivery of government services and information.
The UK has its own Digital Champion, Martha Lane Fox, who advises government how to provide better, more efficient online public services. Her Race Online 2012 initiative aims to bring together partners from across the public, private and third sectors to help more people benefit from the power of the internet. UK online centres are a core part of her vision for a networked nation. You can follow Martha on Twitter
Some useful Social Media links are:
Race Online: @Raceonline_2012
UK Online: @UKonlinecentres
Go ON website: Go ON
Give an Hour website: Give an Hour
This year, Get online week takes place from 30 October to 6 November, and it’s all about giving an hour, or spending an hour…
With the clocks going back on Sunday 30 October, everyone across the UK has a spare hour – and UK Online want them to use it online!
Together with their partners Race Online and the BBC, they'll be encouraging onliners to give an hour to inspire and help someone else use the internet, and offliners to spend an hour giving the internet a go at a local event.
It’s the fifth year of the Get online week campaign, and UK Online are aiming to hold more than 2,000 events across the country, helping tens of thousands of people to get to grips with computers and the internet.
Joining Communities is supporting the Get Online campaigns and are a UK Online centre; why not give us a call and see how we can help you get online. Or if you know anybody who will benfit from support to get online let them know about UK Online, the GET online camapign and Joining Communities.
Online Basics is available at Joining Communities, come and join us and see how enjoyable being online is!
You can contact Joining Communities by using our contacts page
or any of the following Social Media sites.
Joining Communities on Facebook
Joining Communities on Twitter
Joining Communities LinkedIn Company Page
or LinkedIn Group