[Editor’s note: guest post written by Nahid Saif, Senior Manager Colleague and Customer Digital Capability in the Digital Inclusion team of Lloyds Banking Group]
You may be surprised to hear that in the UK today there are 11.5 million people without Basic Digital Skills. This is having a direct impact on people’s lives, many of whom are unable to access the many services and benefits that we all take for granted. This lack of skills also impacts the UK economy; with estimates that this costs the country £63 billion per year.
As part of its commitment to help local communities and Britain prosper, this week Lloyds Banking Group is the lead sponsor for Get Online Week, in partnership with Good Things Foundation. This annual campaign aims to help close the digital divide by supporting more people to get the most out of being online and increase their Basic Digital Skills.
This year’s national campaign has the strapline ‘#Try1Thing’, which encourages people across the UK to do one thing on the internet that they would usually do offline.
As part of Get Online Week, the Group has over 25,500 Digital Champions who will be supporting customers in branches and volunteering in local communities across the UK. Each champion will help individuals, businesses and charities improve their digital skills and encourage them to try one new thing online.
Lloyds Banking Group Digital Champions will also be driving key activities in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians through the Halifax Libraries programme, which supports IT taster sessions in their local libraries. Other activities for the week will include supporting Code Club sessions in local schools and offering digital skills training in local Online Centres.
As part of the Government’s Digital Strategy, the Group has pledged to support 2.5 million people, businesses and charities with Basic Digital Skills by 2020. They will do this by utilising their growing network of Digital Champions, supporting national campaigns such as Get Online Week, through key partnerships with the Society of Chief Librarians, and a number of local initiatives. All of this will contribute to helping Britain prosper.
Case Study: Halifax and libraries partnership provides digital skills support to the people of Calderdale
When Halifax Customer Service Consultant, Rachel Toddington, agreed to take part in the Halifax and Libraries programme last summer, she didn’t realise just how much of a difference she would be able to make to the lives of people living in her local community.
One of the first pilots for the partnership took place in the Halifax Calderdale Library and the response was overwhelming. Rachel, who works at the Halifax Woolshops branch, said: “The demand for these IT taster sessions is extremely high, so any support we can give to boost the number of sessions the libraries can run makes a massive difference.”
Rachel has helped many people since she started supporting the Library Partnership. She says: “I feel good knowing I’m supporting my community by helping people improve their basic digital skills. It’s a lovely feeling to see the feedback you get – you’re helping someone improve their life – it’s a big thing and so rewarding.”
How to request support
Working with Lloyds Banking Group, we have a real opportunity to help our library visitors and communities with their Digital know-how. Any libraries wishing to benefit from the support of Lloyds Banking Group Digital Champions can register their interest via the Digital Volunteering Map using this link .
Please note, this is a guest blog. Views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of DCMS or the Libraries Taskforce