Access to digital technology and the internet became essential during the pandemic with many services moving online. Whilst COVID-19 restrictions have eased many services have remained virtual.
There has been benefits to this such as hybrid working and increasing accessibility to events and services for disabled people. However, digital exclusion and a lack of access to technology remains an issue across Great Britain, especially for certain groups and communities experiencing the highest levels of disadvantage.
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), older people have consistently been the lowest users of the internet since its inception. Only 54% of adults aged over 75 are internet users.
Good Things Foundation co-design’s free online learning resources to help people take their first and further steps online. They have two courses running in October to support individuals and community organisations to increase their digital skills, described in more detail below.
Good Things Foundation has recently partnered with Scheinberg Relief Fund for an exciting new project with the aim of using digital to tackle social isolation of older people that have been digitally and socially excluded during the pandemic. As part of the Connect Up project we will renew and review our current resources and work with our network to co-design and test new ways of supporting older people to learn digital skills and new ways of using digital tools to form and maintain meaningful connections.
The Connect Up Community of Practice
Good Things will also be setting up a specialist community of practice for organisations around the UK who provide, or plan to provide, digital inclusion support to older people.
As part of the Connect Up Community, organisations can access (for free):
- Regular specialist training;
- Access to specialist resources on the Learn My Way platform;
- Community networking events;
- Sharing best practice;
- Support from peer experts;
- Grant opportunities for community members to deliver digital skills support to older people.
In the run up to our annual Get Online Week campaign in October, we’re holding an information session for organisations that would like to join the Connect Up community and find out more about Good Things Foundation and the Get Online Week campaign.
Register for the session here: Connect Up Information Session, Tuesday 12th October, 11:30am
Get Online, Get Connected
In line with our Connect Up goals, our theme for Get Online Week this year is Get Online, Get Connected. We will be running lunchtime sessions about Supporting People to Get Online: How Good Things Foundation Can Help. If you’re new to digital inclusion, these open introductory sessions are designed for you to get a feel for how we can support you in your work.
Every day during Get Online Week - Monday 18th to Friday 22nd October at 12.30pm.
If you’re not able to attend any of the above events, but you’d like to find out more about this project, Get Online Week or joining our Good Foundation’s network, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re a community organisation funded by People’s Health Trust you can find out more about joining our network of funded partners here.