The Good Things that happened in 2018/19
We’re a social change charity, aiming to help people improve their lives through digital. We work in communities nationally and internationally to deliver deep impact at scale.
Healthier, happier and better off
This year, we've reached over 440,077 people worldwide, helping them to improve their lives through digital - and to be healthier, happier and better off.
We’ve done this by working with a wide range of partners, including organisations like:
…as well as the thousands of community partners who help us to achieve so much
Future Digital Inclusion
Our flagship digital inclusion programme, Future Digital Inclusion, is funded by the Department for Education.
As the largest digital inclusion programme in the UK, it has helped over 1 million people to improve their lives through digital. In 2018/19 alone, we helped 265,472 people to improve their digital skills.
You can find out more by visiting Future Digital Inclusion
Future Digital Inclusion in numbers for 2018/19
progressed to further learning
progressed to employment related activity
Aisha’s story / Gaining skills. Empowering others.
As someone who has fatigue syndrome, Aisha has firsthand experience of using the internet to benefit her health and, through gaining skills through the Future Digital Inclusion programme, she is now teaching others as a Digital Champion.
"My condition makes me tired," explains Aisha. "Sometimes I have all this energy and that's why I volunteer, but when I am tired and I can't do anything, the computers really help me because I can connect. I have video calls and I have WhatsApp, so I speak to people or text them. That really is a lifesaver." Aisha continues: "Sometimes you have a condition and you don't know how to manage it, or you've been to the doctor and you don't have enough information. You can just go on NHS Choices and find out more. I've also tried to do my prescription online which I find very useful."
Now she’s sharing her knowledge and experience with others to empower them and help them use the online world to their advantage.
Widening Digital Participation
We’re testing innovative new ways to engage people with digital to improve their health.
The programme, funded by NHS Digital, is rolling out 23 innovative pathfinder projects that are trialling new approaches to supporting people to access health information and health services online, reducing health inequalities and preventing poor health.
You can find out more by visiting NHS Widening Digital Participation
Widening Digital Participation in numbers for 2018/19
new NHS Widening Digital Participation pathfinders recruited
people engaged in the programme
people engaged through the Pathfinders
Roy’s story / Getting confident. Feeling better.
Roy, from Thanet, has been using digital technology to find health information and better manage his health online.
Roy is retired and lives in social housing. He says: “Before we started doing the courses, I had a small bit to do with computers. But I wasn’t very confident.” Through the support he received from Orbit Housing, Roy is now able to use digital to manage his health.
“I’m learning to do beneficial things for myself. I’ve found two health apps - one is a patient access app which I’ve joined, which means I can manage my medication which I need every month, and manage my appointments online. My medical records, I currently don’t have access to them, but I will get them. That way I can go anywhere and my medical records are easily accessible for anyone who needs to see them, such as GPs and other hospitals. I even have an app that tells me how many people are in the waiting room of each hospital in the area.”
A pioneering programme that supports excluded people to overcome barriers through digital.
Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, and delivered with partners Homeless Link and Mind, Reboot UK is a digital skills programme for people who face multiple forms of exclusion, focused especially on people affected by homelessness and mental health problems.
Reboot UK in numbers for 2018/19
excluded people were engaged
digital champions trained
Ross’ story / New skills. New direction.
Ross Wilkinson, an army veteran, has been overcoming alcoholism and drug addiction and is getting his life back on track by helping others to get to grips with technology.
“I come from a background of drug and alcohol addiction,” explains 39-year-old Ross. “When I left the army I was a bit lost and didn’t know what to do. I was just floating around.”
At Brim’s House Veteran, Ross started taking part in the IT classes that were part of Reboot UK, and his confidence began to come back. He’s now progressed to volunteering in the classes, as well as doing an Access course in Nursing. “I get so much out of it and find it enjoyable. It gives me confidence. I haven’t been working for a long time now, so for me it’s dipping my toe back in the water.”
36 Voicebox Cafes ran in 2018, supporting excluded women to learn more about democracy.
Funded by the Government Equalities Office, the project celebrated 100 years of some women getting the right to vote.
The impacts of the project were significant, with understanding of the history of the women’s vote increasing from 27% to 95% after participation. Understanding of democratic processes increased from 27% to 92% after participation.
You can find out more by visiting Voicebox Cafes
Voicebox Cafés in numbers
young women engaged
of participants were from a range of BAME communities
100% Digital Leeds
We’ve supported Leeds City Council to deliver 100% Digital Leeds - a new movement for digital inclusion in the city.
The project worked in some of the most deprived areas of the city, helping organisations to integrate digital into their service offer.
The project has built a new network across the city, supporting organisations to deliver digital inclusion for the first time, as well as lending tablets to facilitate digital inclusion activity.
You can find out more by visiting Digital Inclusion Leeds
100% Digital Leeds in numbers for 2018/19
people reached and supported
organisations involved in the 100% Digital Leeds network
Working with HMRC
Our HMRC project is now approaching the fifth year of supporting people in communities.
The project supports people to use HMRC services including Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Tax (PAYE), VAT and National Insurance.
We have secured a further year’s funding, extending the project to March 2020.
Read our evaluation here
Our work with HMRC in numbers for 2018/19
people supported with advice and guidence since April 2015
Working to tackle digital and social exclusion
Our network partners are how we make an impact, supporting people in communities to improve their lives through digital.
Brought together by Good Things Foundation, our network partners comprise grassroots organisations, all working to tackle digital and social exclusion by providing people with the skills and confidence they need to access digital technology.
We have been able to make such a huge impact through the 5,262 members of the Online Centres Network up and down the UK and the 2,230 Network Partners in Australia.
Our networks in numbers for 2018/19
new organisations joined the Online Centres Network, bringing the total up to 5,262
new Network Partners joined the Be Connected Network, bringing the total up to 2,230
Good things around the globe
Digital exclusion isn’t just an issue in the UK, but around the world too. That’s why we’re delighted to be extending our impact across the globe.
Since launching in 2017, Good Things Foundation Australia has gone from strength-to-strength
In 2018-19, we hit some major milestones including supporting over 100,000 Australians to learn digital skills, recruiting over 2,000 Network Partners and training over 5,000 Digital Mentors.
Good Things Foundation Australia in numbers for 2018/19
new members of staff
distributed in grant funding to Network Partners
Get Online Week events held across the country during our first Get Online Week campaign
Paul’s story / Educating family to be safer online
Former Australian Defence Force member, Paul Webster, is a volunteer digital mentor at Langwarrin Men’s Shed located on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.
Paul presents safety seminars and digital skills training at various local organisations, including retirement villages, Probus and seniors groups.
Safety is one of the main reasons Paul began volunteering as a digital mentor at the Shed. Although Paul himself has always been into computers, many other men and women his age don’t share the same digital skill set. After a few of his family and friends fell victim to online scams, Paul took the opportunity to educate them on how to be more diligent with their online safety.
"Although completing safety modules on Be Connected won't stop you from being targeted by scammers, it will make you more aware of how you can prevent yourself from being scammed." says Paul. And the other reason Paul began volunteering as a digital mentor? Giving back to the community. "Anyone who has served will know that the Defence Force community (fellow servicemen and women) is a family and you always look after your family. This is just an extension of that, looking after my community.”
Kingston’s story / Learning through new techniques
Kingston Library, part of Libraries Tasmania, provide extensive programs and support through their offering of digital classes.
As the need for technology increases they decided their clients would benefit from the Be Connected program. Kingston Library received both an Activation Grant and Get Online Week grant, which has allowed them to purchase some Dash Robots for adult computer classes.
Sonya from Kingston Library says, “One student put their hand up to have a go. Within 10 minutes every robot was being utilised. Out of this session, two of the learners booked additional sessions to bring their children and grandchildren during the school holidays.” Kingston Library make their programs fun and interactive, including the chance for seniors to have a play. “The main thing we often say is to not be scared of the technology, have a play, press the buttons, you won’t break anything.”
This year we continued our pilot work in Kenya, testing how our model could support people in the country to improve their lives through digital.
Through the programme, we wanted to support libraries and their users to explore the benefits that being online can bring.
We worked with Tunapanda Institute in Nairobi to evaluate the first phase of the pilot, making recommendations for what to do next.
Spreading the word about digital and social inclusion
Building support and raising awareness is a vital part of the work we do – to develop our partnerships, grow our networks and ensure people understand the benefits of digital and can find the help they need to access it.
Bridging the Digital Divide
In 2018, we launched our Bridging the Digital Divide campaign, calling for 100% digital inclusion in the UK.
As part of the campaign, we’re asking Government and other organisations to make the commitment to getting 100% of the UK digitally included in order to reap both economic and social benefits. We also launched our Blueprint for a 100% Digitally Included Nation, a six point plan which set out our recommendations for reaching this goal.
Potential economic benefits of a 100% digitally included UK
from cost savings in online transactions during shopping
NHS savings from increased use of digital services
in government savings from digital efficiency and increased use of online services
Digital Evolution: Digital. Social. Global
Our annual conference – Digital Evolution – took place in November at the BT Centre in London.
Chaired by Dr Sue Black, and with a range of inspirational and engaging speakers, members of our network and other partners came together to discuss the benefits of digital for social change.
Get Online Week
In 2018, Get Online Week went global for the first time, taking place in both the UK and Australia.
The campaign has been running in the UK since 2007, so it was great to see it expand to having global reach. Events took place in both Australia and the UK, reaching 70,732 people.
Get Online Week in the UK in numbers for 2018/19
registered event holders
In Australia, we held over 750 Get Online Week events
Get Online Week Australia in numbers for 2018/19
learners were registered on the Be Connected Learning Portal
Learn My Way
Learn My Way continues to be a popular and well used learning resource that helps hundreds of thousands of people get online each year.
The site contains free and easy to use courses which help people to develop the digital skills needed to make the most of the online world.
You can find out more by visiting Learn My Way
Learn My Way in numbers for 2018/19
people registered for the site
brand new Learn My Way courses produced and 21 existing courses were updated
new Welsh language courses and guides, in partnership with the Welsh Government
And now, next year…
Digital and social exclusion remains a huge issue, both in the UK and internationally, so we’ll be working tirelessly to close the divide - but we can’t do this alone. Through a number of exciting new partnerships and programmes, we will continue to make an impact in the coming year.
Here’s what we have in the pipeline:
In January 2019 we announced we are teaming up with J.P. Morgan to research how digital skills can address economic exclusion throughout the UK.
We are working on Power Up – an exciting new project to drive economic inclusion through digital.
Find out more by visiting Power Up
We have recently announced a strategic partnership with Google to help build digital skills across the UK.
This builds on our previous work with Google, and will see us develop a new pathway of support for limited users of the internet, as well as working in Sunderland to support Google’s Digital Garage.
You can find out more by visiting Improving Digital Skills
In 2021, we will be giving assisted digital support for the next Census in England and Wales.
It will be the first ‘digital first’ census, conducted by the Office for National Statistics. Working with organisations in the Online Centres Network, Good Things Foundation’s partnership with ONS means that people will be able to get support from trained staff in community locations to help complete the Census online.
You can find out more by visiting Online Census Digital Support
Programmes with real impact
We will continue working with governments and other partners to develop new projects and programmes that have a real impact on the lives of socially and digitally excluded people around the world.