Get Online Week (17-23 October) celebrates it’s 10th birthday this year, and over the last decade has engaged more than 500,000 people - encouraging them to get online and see how the internet could make life easier, cheaper, healthier - and more fun.
The campaign is managed by Tinder Foundation, the UK’s leading digital inclusion charity. Since 2010, they’ve helped 1.9 million people to gain digital skills - and Get Online Week has been key in helping them raise awareness of the benefits of being online, and the network of 5,000 community-based UK online centres on hand to help.
The campaign model sees national publicity backed up by local activity, with local event holders given marketing packs, training and advice to advertise and run events out and about in their communities.
This year’s campaign posters feature real life learners and their stories of how getting online has helped them do anything from staying healthy to keeping in touch, getting a job to following a hobby, finding a bargain to learning English.
After being encouraged to get online by his daughter Sue, Arthur Mills, 87 from London said: “I believe getting online has given me more life. I’m more confident, more engaged with the world, I see more of my friends and family and I just enjoy my life more.”
For Rob Smedley, 40, Doncaster, digital skills meant getting back into work for the first time in three years. He said: “I can’t tell you what a good feeling it was to finally get a job. I’m really proud to be one of the poster people for Get Online Week, because I know how important digital skills are, and how important it is to have a helping hand when you need it.”
New mum Theresa Ajise, 30, from Liverpool added: “There was so much out there on the internet I just didn’t know about! Being online has helped me manage my money, save for the future, and connect to other Mums.”
Arthur and Sue, Rob and Theresa - and others - will feature on posters and leaflets being sent out to all of this year’s Get Online Week event holders. The campaign stars will hopefully inspire others to follow in their footsteps, attend a local Get Online Week event and find out how they could change their life with the internet.
Chief Executive at Tinder Foundation, Helen Milner, continued: “We see every day how getting online can improve lives - and Get Online Week is our chance to get out there and get that message out to even more people. There will be more than 1,000 events up and down the country this Get Online Week, and we hope to reach tens of thousands of people.”
It’s still not too late to sign up to be a Get Online Week event holder! Visit www.getonlineweek.com to find out more.
If you know someone who could benefit from getting online, or if you’d like to get a bit of help to brush up on your own IT skills, you can look up an event near you on www.getonlineweek.com, or call the National Careers Service helpline free on 0800 77 1234.