We are passionate about digital inclusion, and work to reduce the digital divide, ensuring that no-one is left behind in the digital world of today.
So many of us take being online for granted, yet there are 11.9 million people in the UK without the essential skills and confidence to get the most out of technology. From accessing basic needs such as ordering groceries, making doctor’s appointments and claiming benefits, to chatting with loved ones and even exploring hobbies in a safe environment — having the skills, confidence and access is life-changing.
Becoming more independent
Michael used to use computers at work, but when he retired he no longer had access. When the pandemic hit, he was shielding but he learned about the support our Digital Brighton & Hove project could provide. We were able to give Michael a refurbished laptop and he receives occasional support from one of our Digital Champions.
Michael is now doing his food shopping for himself, which has helped him to be more independent and he uses technology to access health information and services. He told us that being online has had a positive impact on his life in terms of confidence and social connection. Even though he is unable to go outside, he has found a freedom in being online:
“Thanks to you and your colleagues… If anyone needs to get out and do things, do it on a computer. It’s a fantastic freedom… it’s helped with life, you know it keeps your life going instead of just sitting stagnating while this virus ruins the world. You can… see the world as it was or as it could be…”
Our response to digital exclusion
Digital exclusion affects those most vulnerable in our society, and as more essential and non-essential services move online our work is more critical than ever before. As a direct response to Covid-19, Citizens Online set up a free national helpline, providing help and support to those new to digital, those who want more confidence online, and as a vital resource for those supporting others to get online.
Your support today means that we can continue our vital work and ensure everyone can receive the support they need to get online and to do things that benefit them day to day.
How to give
Make a one-off or regular donation
As a small charity your donation today will help us ensure we can continue making a difference to those most vulnerable in our society without the skills and access to get online. To make a one-off donation, or to set up a regular gift please visit: justgiving.com/citizensonlineuk
Give the gift of your time
“Just had a really good session with a learner. They sent their first email ever and were over the moon about it”.Volunteer Digital Champion in North Yorkshire
We are always looking for new volunteers to become Digital Champions. You don’t need lots of technical skills, just patience and a passion to help others get the most out of technology. If you have at least a couple of hours a month to offer, and would like to learn more, please visit our volunteering page
Give while you shop
While you enjoy the ease of shopping online you can donate to our charity at no extra cost to you. AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon, with the same products and prices, but with 0.5% of what you spend on eligible purchases donated to Citizens Online. To get started simply sign up at smile.amazon.co.uk and select our charity from the list.
“It is such a simple and easy way to give, and it is great to think that when I click to buy through Amazon Smile, further down the line it means Citizens Online can help get someone else get online.”
Recycling your used equipment
In Sussex, we have partnered with Tech-TakeBack to securely recycle your used equipment and re-issue it through our tablet loan scheme to help others get online. At present this scheme is only available in Sussex – if you live in the area please contact the team on DigitalBH@citizensonline.org.uk to find out more.
“I just want to say a huge thank you to you for dropping off the laptop. It is great and such a life saver. I managed last night to do an online shop and speak with my son on messenger. I would also like to thank Tech-TakeBack for supplying the laptop. I can’t tell you how great it is to be in touch with the world again.”
In North Yorkshire, the Reboot North Yorkshire project can pass your old laptop, smart phone, tablet or iPad on to someone in need, and the volunteers we support will help that person learn how to use the device.