Go-On Southwark Digital Inclusion Project
Helping Southwark residents improve their basic online skills.
Whilst 98% of Southwark residents have internet access, only 83% are capable of using the internet effectively (LB Southwark 2015). This means approximately 40,000 people across the borough do not have the basic skills to send and receive emails, browse websites, use a search engine and complete online forms. Majority of them are older people (60+), people with disabilities, social renters, and those who are not in employment.
Working towards improving digital literacy in the borough, Cambridge House is collaborating with Southwark Council to support community members overcome the four main challenges to going online:
- Access: ability to connect to the internet
- Skills: ability to use the internet
- Motivation: understand the benefits of using the internet
- Trust: a fear of crime and not knowing where to start
Our Digital Champion volunteers will run weekly drop-in sessions where community members can get one-on-one support on accessing Council websites, managing benefits and household bills, searching for jobs, buying goods and services and maintaining contact with distant friends and relatives. In addition, we will also plan workshops for small and medium sized businesses to enable local entrepreneurs make the most of social media and digital technology.
The project is currently under development. Training sessions are underway for corporate and community volunteers to become Digital Champions and share their IT skills with friends and neighbours. The full programme will be launched in early 2016.
If you are interested in becoming a Digital Champion or want to find out more about how you can make Southwark a more digitally included community, please contact Angela Zhang.