Community groups can solve digital isolation

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Community groups that show leadership can help improve lives through digital inclusion

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18th March 2014 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

We know that access to the internet can help transform people’s lives

Volunteer digital champions could help the one in five Scots who are not currently online join the digital world, a new report suggests.

Carnegie UK Trust has published a seven-step guide for organisations who want to help more people get online.

It highlights projects from across the UK, including Digital Fife, which has worked with community groups to build digital capacity and create digital champions.

The new guide suggests that organisations can help people get online by showing leadership, involving people and being specific to their audience group. It also recommends ways to address the barriers stopping people from getting online, such as access to equipment, connection costs, and the fears people might have about technology.

Douglas White, head of policy at Carnegie UK Trust, said: "We know that access to the internet can help transform people’s lives; it can help people to access public services more easily, achieve higher levels of educational attainment and improve employment prospects, which in turn can help provide a boost to local economies. Despite this, a fifth of the UK population remains offline.

“The new guide provides an easy-to-follow reference guide for local authorities and business organisations to consider when undertaking activities to help boost digital inclusion in their region. Technology really has helped transform the way we live our lives, it’s therefore essential that the country’s final fifth are not forgotten about.”

The Making Digital Real report follows research carried out by the trust last year around digital take-up in Glasgow, the city with one of the lowest levels of internet access in the UK.

It found that a key cause was concerns about technology and that different methods of engagement were required to get people interested in learning about being online.