Future Digital Inclusion has allowed us to both directly fund basic online skills delivery in UK online centres across the country, and continue to develop our learning resources for the entire network.
In 2015-16, the programme – funded by the Department and Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) – used the deep reach of the UK online centres network to support some of the hardest to reach groups in society. Unemployed people, disabled people and low-skilled people were just some of the groups reached, along with those living in poverty, people in social housing and those in receipt of means-tested benefits.
Since October 2015, HMRC also invested in the Future Digital Inclusion programme, helping us train an additional 44,880 people in addition to the 231,650 people trained by the BIS-funded element of the programme.
When she saw all the things she could do more easily online, Wendy Wass, 68, from Lincoln, decided it was time to “bite the bullet” and give it a go. She never imagined that she could do so much, so easily online – especially her finances.
“We were getting left behind,” says Wendy. “Every time we saw an advert on television saying to go on the websites, we couldn’t do anything like that.”
Wendy lives with her husband who suffers from ill-health. Being able to manage her finances online, including banking, paying her bills and even shopping, has made life much easier for them both.
As such, we’re extremely proud that Lloyds Banking Group demonstrated its commitment to basic digital skills this year, by working closely with Tinder Foundation. Our relationship with Lloyds Banking Group has grown as we’ve work together on increasingly diverse activities.
In April of 2015, Lloyds Banking Group committed to training 20,000 members of their staff as Digital Champions. Tinder Foundation has been instrumental both in delivering hands on training sessions, giving the first cohorts of these volunteers the skills they need to support those new to the internet, and also in providing Lloyds with the resources they need to train many more thousands of their colleagues over the next year.
Launched on Learn My Way in March 2016 – after several months of productive co-creation – were three new courses aimed at helping consumers feel safe about handling money and personal information online – Online banking, Make money work, and Keeping your information safe.
With 20,000 new Digital Champions looking – or about to be looking – for volunteering opportunities, January saw the launch of the Corporate Volunteer portal on the UK online centres website.
The portal is giving members of the UK online centres network the opportunity to register digital skills volunteering opportunities with their organisation and this database of opportunities is shared with Lloyds Banking Group, allowing their newly trained Digital Champions the opportunity to find a centre in need near them.
The Lloyds Banking Foundation Enhance programme supports charities across the UK to get access to the training and support they need to operate more effectively. The Tinder Foundation Communications, Digital and Learning teams have been proud to help some of these charities with training on web design, digital content planning, effective social media and more.
We look forward to continuing and growing our work together with Lloyds Banking Group, to help individuals and organisations make the most of digital, over the coming year.
Based in the very heart of communities, libraries and Tinder Foundation have long worked together to advocate for digital inclusion and help those who are socially and digitally excluded.
In October 2015, Tinder Foundation partnered up with the Leadership for Libraries Taskforce to launch a Library Digital Inclusion Fund for a six-month action research project. We funded 16 libraries to run innovative pilots to support people to improve their digital skills.
From October 2015 to March 2016 the libraries involved used new approaches to engage with socially excluded people, investigating models of support that worked for their particular communities through new partnerships and technologies. The findings report is now available.
Clare Bell, Barrow Libraries
The project, which funded 6 rural UK online centres across the country, provided free, tailored one-to-one sessions to a range of rural businesses, including those in the hospitality and farming industries. Project outcomes include:
94% of businesses were more aware of the benefits of the internet to their business
93% of businesses felt more confident to develop their business
39% of businesses felt that they were more profitable following the training
59% of businesses felt that they were more sustainable following the training
41% felt that they had been able to access new markets through the use of digital tools.
255 businesses were supported by the project, which saw a broad range of wider benefits, including improved wellbeing and reduced stress for beneficiaries, alongside realised time savings and improved profitability.
The project came to an end in March 2016, and we’ve now received funding for the coming year to support rural areas with digital inclusion.