From 12 – 18 October we hosted our ninth annual Get Online Week, which saw our UK online centres network host over 2000 events, supporting almost 33,000 people to take their first steps and find out how much easier life can be with a little help from the online world.
Events took place in community venues all across the country, in village halls, community centres, doctors surgeries, job centres and more. As always we focussed our campaign around the stories of 8 inspirational learners from the network, including Mike Oyameda who improved his career prospects after attending a local Get Online Week event in 2014.
We developed partnerships with organisations like Lloyds Banking Group and Jobcentre Plus to make sure the campaign had the widest reach possible, and a third of participating centres even took promotion into their own hands, doing outreach work and hosting events away from their usual venue, in libraries, supermarkets and social housing communal areas.
Our accompanying social media campaign #easieronline sparked a lot of interest with over 1100 mentions across Twitter and Facebook, and over 2300 mentions of the #GOLW15 hashtag.
With 2016 marking our 10th anniversary, plans are already underway to make it our biggest and best Get Online Week yet.
Running for two weeks from 15 February, the campaign asked community organisations – from both within and outside the UK online centres network – to say to those that they work with, ‘For work, for home, for life. Be Online’.
As ever, we were pleased and proud to see hundreds of UK online centres reach new people during the campaign – a special mention goes to Startpoint in Stockport and their ‘Bee Online’ mascot…
The particular success of Be Online was also in large part thanks to the participation of more than two hundred libraries across the UK, and more than 60 local Jobcentre Plus offices, proving that partnership goes a long way in reaching those most in need of skills and support.
As such, we were pleased to see the campaign come close to meeting Get Online Week in scope, with around 830 organisations taking part. We were even more pleased to see it exceed Get Online Week 2015 in reach, with more than 2,500 individual events taking place across the UK, reaching over 38,000 new people with digital inclusion messaging over the two weeks.
Digital Evolution: Building a Digital Nation took place on 25 November at the BT Centre in London, bringing together digital inclusion delivery organisations, partners and policy makers to discuss how we can make Britain a truly digital nation.
Maggie Philbin chaired the event, and kept delegates lively and engaged, and speakers included NHS England’s Beverley Bryant and Minister for State at DCMS Ed Vaizey, who inspired delegates and helped to paint the bigger picture. Alongside our speakers, panels and unconference sessions provided an opportunity for people to discuss ideas and share their own views, with delegates going away full of ideas to implement in their own projects and their own communities.
Why not take a look at the highlights?