Big Lottery Fund Launches Basic Online Skills Programme (UK)
The Big Lottery Fund has launched a £15 million programme to improve the basic online skills of people across the UK who rarely or never use the internet.
The Basic Online Skills programme, which has been developed in partnership with Go ON UK, aims to encourage and support more people to use computers and the internet. Currently 11 million adults in the UK do not have the basic online skills to fully benefit from the internet and 7.1 million have never used a computer or the internet at all. This means that some of the most vulnerable people in society are missing out on the many benefits of the digital world.
The Big Lottery Fund will support between one and three significant and sustainable UK-wide projects that will achieve one or both of the following outcomes, primarily through working face-to-face with beneficiaries in their local community:
- Significantly increase the percentage of the population that have basic online skills.
- Support people from specific parts of the community, particularly those who are most in need and digitally excluded (for example, older people, unemployed people, disabled people), to improve their basic online skills.
National organisations operating across at least one of the four UK countries are eligible to apply.
While individual organisations can apply on their own, it is more likely that a partnership of organisations is better suited to achieve the UK-wide reach and impact required by the programme.
Lead applicants should be a registered charity, a not-for-profit organisation, a social enterprise, a registered company or a public body and must have a governing document that allows it to operate across the UK.
The funding can be used for both capital and revenue costs.
Projects must deliver activities in each of the four UK countries and will need to deliver either:
- Intensive activity co-ordinated across at least six locations at city, local authority or regional/sub-regional level. This must include at least one location in each of the four countries of the UK.
- Co-ordinated activity across a consolidated network of delivery sites that reaches across the UK.
Projects should benefit older people, young people, Black, Minority, Ethnic (BME) communities, people with disabilities, people who have no, or low, incomes, and people who are educationally disadvantaged.
Big Lottery Fund Chief Executive Dawn Austwick said:
“As more aspects of everyday life move online, it is vitally important that people have the basic skills to participate fully. The seven million people who have never used the Internet are at a huge disadvantage – enabling them to take advantage of its benefits is quite a challenge. By supporting the most effective approaches now, our Basic Online Skills investment will plug a skills gap and help change how people relate to the Internet.”
There is a two stage application process. The deadline for completed expression of interest forms is 24 January 2014.
Full details can be found on the Big Lottery Fund websitego back to the news page