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What we mean by Digital Inclusion

Around 7 million people in the UK don’t have access to the internet, and of these, 3.5 million are the most socially and economically disadvantaged in the country. The majority are likely to be older people, those in the lowest socio-economic groups and those living in deprived areas. In Lancashire, 27% of households don’t have access to the internet.  More information is included in our Digital Inclusion framework.

Having access to the internet opens up a wide range of opportunities. People who don’t have online skills or confidence are missing out on the advantages many of us take for granted. By showing people who aren’t online (or not confident online) the types of applications such as Skype, or content like online health sites, could improve their quality of life, thus helping them recognise the benefits of being online.  Not to mention time and cost saving through less travel or from making telephone or face-to-face enquiries.

Did you know
  • households off-line miss out on savings of £560 per year from shopping and paying bills online
  • children’s educational performance can be improved by home access to a computer and the internet
  • people with good ICT skills earn between 3-10% more than people without such skills
  • 1.6 million children in families who do not use the internet to go online at home could boost their total lifetime earnings by £10 billion

How you can help

Don't have your own computer/tablet/smartphone or an internet package?

Don't worry, there are places in your community where you can get online for free and we’ve listed some of them here.

Lancashire County Council libraries

Blackpool Libraries

Blackburn with Darwen libraries

Find your nearest UK Online Centre

Want to learn more about how to get online?

Visit Learn My Way and click on 'not sure where to start' in the centre of the page. This online resource will teach all abilities; from absolute beginners to those who simply wish to improve their skills in a certain area.

In your community

If you’d like help with your digital learning, you can access it in your community:

Digital learning in Lancashire libraries

Lancashire Adult Learning courses

Blackpool Adult Community and Family Learning courses

Blackburn Adult Learning courses

Can you spare some time to help others get online?

Over 7 million adults in the UK don't use the internet, potentially leaving them digitally, socially and financially excluded.

All people, especially the most disadvantaged, can benefit from new technologies.  Superfast broadband will ultimately transform the way we access services whether it’s renewing a library book online, claiming benefit or getting your TV licence.  

To help support as many people as possible to get online for the first time, we’re developing a Volunteer Network.

We’d love for people with some computer experience to volunteer to help others get to grips with using the internet. For further information, please follow the links below:

Lancashire Digital Volunteering opportunities

To become a digital volunteer in Blackpool, please visit your local library or the Blackpool Volunteer Centre.

Volunteers can get involved in various ways, for example via libraries, visiting schools, old people homes or sheltered accommodation.    

The rewards are humbling: many people who have found themselves isolated due to any number of reasons, including health problems, caring responsibilities, and moving to a new area have stories highlighting how much of a lifeline it can be to have immediate access to family and friends through the internet. There is a chronic level of loneliness amongst older people in the UK and the part this technology can play to reduce that needs to be grasped and better understood.

Alternatively, do you think your organisation could work with us to achieve our goal of getting people online, to do more online and benefit from being online?  Please contact us to get involved, we look forward to hearing from you!

Interested in finding out more?

If you have any suggestions, would like to get involved, or simply want to find out more, please contact us