Digital inclusion charity Good Things Foundation is offering free training to those who feel left behind when it comes to getting online.
With many everyday tasks now requiring the internet, a digital inclusion charity is helping people brush up their online skills.
To address digital exclusion in the UK, Good Things Foundation has relaunched Learn My Way, a free platform for digital learning that has hundreds of hubs across the country.
Digital exclusion is defined as not having the necessary means of access, skills and confidence to use the internet and benefit fully from digital technology in everyday life.
Whether you need help to connect with friends and family, shop safely online, apply for jobs or access online services like the NHS, the Learn My Way platform can help you learn the skills you need to use the internet safely and confidently.
Helen Milner OBE, group CEO of Good Things Foundation, said: “Digital exclusion is a national social and economic crisis. Millions of people in the UK are being left behind as our world becomes more digitised.
“Community hubs in local areas are now playing a crucial role in providing digital skills support and services that can help people to get online.
“We need to continue to work together to address the digital divide, making sure that everyone has access to the internet and the skills they need to use it for a more inclusive society and to create a thriving economy for everyone.”
The new Learn My Way platform allows users to tailor their own learning programme, offers a choice of bitesize topics and is accessible across multiple devices. It leads learners through simple, step-by-step explanations, making sure that concepts are easy to understand.
Learn My Way offers over 100 free topics, ranging from using a keyboard to support with how to claim Universal Credit. It also helps people to set up and access online banking and stay safe online.
You can visit registered Digital Inclusion Hubs in your local community and get support to sign up for and use Learn My Way – or you can access digital skills topics independently on Learn My Way using your own devices.
You are not alone
According to the 2022 Consumer Digital Index from Lloyds Bank, 10.2 million people in the UK lack the digital skills needed to use the internet, with millions still living without access to a device or data to get connected.
Further stats from Good Things Foundation reveal that 38% of the UK think that the biggest barrier to getting online is not knowing how to use the internet or digital services – while 22% are afraid of giving away their personal data online and being scammed.
The charity’s poll reveals strong public support for action on digital inclusion with over three quarters (77%) of people saying that being able to access the internet is an essential need, not a luxury, and 74% of people agree that they would feel cut off from society if they did not have access to the internet.
Not being able to get online is also having a direct impact on societal inclusion, with 18% of people revealing they stopped using some products and services because they are only available online. For access to key public services such as NHS prescriptions, 37% of people said they often have to help members of their family or friends gain access to the internet.
Get Online Week
Good Things Foundation also runs Get Online Week, an annual campaign that is taking place from October 16-22 this year.
For one week, the charity’s network of community partners will host hundreds of free digital skills events to help people to get online safely, confidently and affordably.
To discover more about events taking place in your area during Get Online Week, visit your local hub at People Know How, Straits Meadow, 61-63 London Road, Edinburgh EH7 6AA. To register or for more details visit peopleknowhow.org or call 0131 569 0525.