Campaigns and Events

Campaigns and events have been an important way to help us to raise our profile, and ensure our work and that of the Online Centres Network has a far greater reach.

Get Online Week

October 17-23 saw us celebrate Get Online Week 2017. This represented a huge milestone – our 10th annual Get Online campaign (the first two being Get Online Days) – and mobilised the Online Centres Network to run more than 3,500 events, reaching 50,000 people.

We celebrated this big birthday in style, by highlighting ten inspirational stories of people helped to gain digital skills by the Online Centres Network.

Whether it was Arthur and his daughter Sue who shared their story staying connected across hundreds of miles, or Rob who found work and a new inspiration for helping others with his local centre, each one of them epitomised the spirit of the campaign by demonstrating the real difference that digital skills can make to people’s lives.

We were also pleased to welcome our first campaign sponsor in the shape of Lloyds Banking Group.

Not only did their trained digital champions support community campaign events, but their support allowed us fill our campaign marketing packs with balloons, badges, pens and more, and give new internet users a fun taste of what getting online can offer through our Get Online Week engagement game.

Get Online Week event holders

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Be Online

Early 2017 saw the return of Be Online, the little sibling to Get Online Week.

Running for two weeks from 23 February – 6 March, the campaign focussed on the importance of digital skills for work, saying ‘For a new job, new skills or for your business, Be Online’.

This more tightly focused campaign saw 550 online centres hold 2,000 events in communities across the country. They reached out and told local people about the help they could provide helping those looking for work, those wanting to improve their skills for the workplace and those looking to grow a small business.

Be Online 2017

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Be Online collateral

All this hard work led to Be Online 2017 reaching almost 22,000 people, with at least a small handful of these being helped thanks to the return of Stockport’s ‘bee online’ mascot.

Digital Evolution Conference

On 25 November, we again delivered our Digital Evolution conference, with thanks to the support of the BT Team. Titled Digital Evolution: Social Revolution, the conference brought together a range of partners – including many centres from the Online Centres Network, as well as the partners that support us, and others with an interest in digital and social inclusion.

The conference aimed to talk about how digital technology could help to solve some of the most pressing social issues of our time. Chaired again by Maggie Philbin, the day saw speakers including Louise Haigh MP, Shadow Digital Economy Minister and Karl Wilding of NCVO share their thoughts, ideas and stories with delegates, alongside two great panels around the links between poverty and digital, and how we can ensure we are engaging the hardest to reach.

But most important of all was the opportunities for delegates to meet others and share ideas, and as ever delegates left full of ideas and inspiration.

Digital Evolution Conference

2 million learners

During Get Online Week, we reached a major milestone of 2 million people helped to gain basic digital skills. To celebrate we invited members of the Online Centres Network to nominate their inspiring learners for the 2 Millionth Learner Awards.

We received so many notable entries and it was very hard to whittle it down. All finalists were invited to a special ceremony at the BT Tower in London to receive their prizes and it made for a truly awe-inspiring day.

There were smiles and there were tears but most of all, everyone left feeling motivated and ready to reach 2 million more.

2 Millionth Learner Awards

Here are some of our highlights of the day: