Salford is aiming to become a Digital City, an ambition which forms part of our wider vision for a better, fairer Salford to improve resident’s lives.
We are strongly committed to digital inclusion - making sure that residents have the capability to use the internet to do things that benefit them day to day.
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Therefore, we have developed various innovative initiatives to ensure everyone gets the most out of digital technology, one of which is Digital You, an ambitious plan to get almost 8,000 of the most vulnerable and digitally excluded residents online by 2020.
We are working with Good Things Foundation on Digital You, our landmark digital inclusion project across the city to help the most disadvantaged residents gain the confidence and capability to become independent users of computers and the internet.
The programme involved working with Salford-based community organisations to support almost 8,000 Salford residents over two years, 80% of whom must be facing social exclusion. Residents are being engaged in digital through local community settings and helped to develop basic digital skills and confidence. The council has also been creating a social movement for change by involving stakeholders from public, voluntary and private sector, to pledge their support.
Good Things Foundation are the UK’s leading digital and social inclusion organisation which helps people to use and engage with digital to improve their lives. They are working with community organisations to help reach people in the communities in which they live - trusted faces in local places – and help them become confident, capable and safe users of the internet day by day. Good Things Foundation has described this exciting programme as “a landmark investment from a council with vision, commitment and ambition.”
Digital You also has a strong focus on sustainability. We want community organisations to have the skills, capacity and resource to be able to build digital inclusion into their day-to-day mission and to continue helping residents after the programme has ended.
Good Things Foundation have been contacting community organisations across the city to encourage them to join their Online Centres Network which offers a wide range of free benefits. These include access to a variety of training, access to learning resources including their online learning platform Learn My Way, opportunities to link in with other organisations and schemes including funding as well as profile-raising and PR. Over 30 centres have now been recruited into the Salford network, which is made up of 14 community organisations, three housing providers and 5 hubs libraries as well as 11 nested libraries. Check the map below to find your local centre.
They are also looking for volunteer digital champions, residents who don’t need to be an online expert but with enthusiasm for the internet and technology. Getting involved will give them the opportunity to develop new skills that’ll look great on their CV, meet lots of new people and build confidence in their abilities. Almost 80 volunteer digital champions have been recruited to date and many/most will benefit from specialised training sessions.
To find out more about getting involved please get in touch with Good Things Foundation on email at firstname.lastname@example.org or see their website. You can also call them on 0114 349 1666. Or you can contact Kathy Kennedy, Salford City Council’s project manager for Digital You at email@example.com.