Evaluation of Hyde’s Getting Online programme finds 80% of learners remain online

Published: Sep 8th, 2015 | Author: Laura Simpson

newAn evaluation of Hyde’s Getting Online programme, published today, has found that over 80% of participants surveyed after training remain regular internet users.

Citizens Online’s report showed that one-to-one home tutoring and support in the community provided by Digital Champions were well received by learners, with 98% and 81% respectively rating their training as good or excellent. The 500 residents trained last year showed increased confidence in completing a range of online skills, in particular; accessing information, emailing and online safety.

Jackie, who took part in the programme said: “It has made a real difference to my life. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this service. The patience of the teachers is wonderful and I couldn’t imagine not being able to do the things I can do. It makes me want to learn even more!”

Sarah Thurman, Director of Hyde Plus said: “The Getting Online programme has had a real impact on the lives of participants and is reaching residents who stand to lose the most, both socially and financially, if they are not confident online. It’s great to see that the impact of the training goes beyond the sessions provided.”

The majority of residents – 70% – who received tutoring were under the age of 65; challenging the perception that it is generally older people who aren’t online. With the rollout of Universal Credit continuing, reaching these working aged residents is essential.

The report provided some key insights in relation to Universal Credit and completing forms online. More participants felt confident filling in forms as a result of training (from 26% of learners to 76%), however, only a third of learners felt they would be able to complete online benefit applications. This indicates the potential need for digital inclusion programmes to take on an ‘assisted digital’ role as welfare reform rolls out.

Follow up interviews with nearly 100 participants revealed that the cost of buying kit and connectivity at home was the remaining barrier. This lack of access prevents learners from continuing to feel confident online; an issue which digital skills programmes need to do more to address.

Hyde’s Getting Online programme continues this year. This month, Hyde Plus is holding a series of events in sheltered schemes in Kent, Kings Lynn, Norbury and Chichester. Volunteers and tutors will be introducing the online world to residents who have not yet taken part in the programme, through a game designed to revisit the past through technology. Residents who are interested will then be offered further support.

For more information about the Getting Online programme, delivered in partnership with

Student@home and Digital Unite’s Digital Champions Network, visit Hyde’s website or contact digichamps@hyde-housing.co.uk


Notes to Editor:

  1. Regular internet users refers to those who stated they used the internet daily, weekly or monthly
  2. The report analysed over 800 entry, exit and feedback forms completed by learners taking part in the programme. Citizens Online also conducted a follow up telephone survey with 100 participants, to understand the longer-term impact of the programme for both learners and volunteers.
  3. Student@home is a social enterprise that employs trustworthy and knowledgeable IT students as tutors and provides computer, tablet and mobile phone training. It offers students struggling to get work experience the opportunity to gain employment, while at the same time providing local residents and small businesses struggling with technology a cost efficient support service. www.studentathome.co.uk
  4. Digital Unite provides products and services that support digital skills learning. They run the Digital Champions Network, a supported online solution to create, train and support Digital Champions in communities. The network supports 20 housing providers, local authorities and other organisations to deliver Digital Champion programmes. www.digitalchampionsnetwork.com

About The Hyde Group

Provider of the Year – National Housing Awards 2013

The Hyde Group is an award winning provider of homes and makes a significant contribution to meeting housing needs and improving people’s quality of life.

Hyde is one of the largest housing associations working in England, owning or managing circa 50,000 homes in London, Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, the East of England and East Midlands.

Hyde Plus, our social investment team continues to enable residents to fulfil their potential. In the past year 14,500 residents benefitted from Hyde Plus activities, 3,987 received advice, 784 took up training to improve their prospects. Money and debt advisers achieved financial gains to residents of £1.65m; volunteers donated 1,751 days to Hyde Plus activities and 494 people were supported to get online. Read the full 2014/15 impact report.

With a proven track record in regeneration and creating sustainable communities, Hyde has a key role to play in helping to solve Britain’s housing demands. We have pledged to build thousands of new homes over the next three years and have developed a unique partnering model which can help local authorities to build more homes and deliver much needed revenue streams.


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