Try one thing to Get Online this October

Published: 10 October 2022

Image supplied by Good Things Foundation

Eligible adults in low-income households can apply for free data from Derby libraries

Derby City Council is encouraging people to learn how to use the internet or improve their digital skills as part of a national campaign this October.

Get Online Week is the UK’s biggest digital inclusion campaign organised by the Good Things Foundation. Held annually since 2010, it will see thousands of events across the UK to help people make the most of the internet.

Running from Monday 17 to Sunday 23 October, this year’s campaign coincides with the launch of Derby Libraries’ partnership with the Good Things Foundation to provide free mobile data, texts and calls to people in need.

The Good Things Foundation established the UK National Databank to help people from low-income households to get digitally connected for 12 months. The databank has been built with support from Virgin Media O2 and with data donated by Virgin Media O2, Vodafone and Three.

To qualify for free data through the National Databank, people need to be over 18, be from a low-income household and qualify in one or more of the following: 

  • have no access or insufficient access to the internet at home
  • and/or have no or insufficient access to the internet when away from the home 
  • and/orcannot afford their existing monthly contract or top up

Eligible adults need to book an appointment to receive a free data voucher. Call Normanton Library on 01332 642640 or speak to a member of staff at Normanton, Alvaston, Mickleover or Riverside Library.

According to the Good Things Foundation, about 10 million people across the UK don’t have the most basic digital skills. They don’t benefit from the things many of us take for granted every day and are four times more likely to be from low-income households. By comparison, manual workers with high or very high digital engagement earn £421 more a month than less digitally engaged peers.

Get Online Week will urge people to Try One Thing online that they usually do off-line. It could be a first online shopping experience or a video call with friends or relatives, setting up online banking, booking a GP appointment, claiming benefits, or applying for a job online - anything that they haven’t had the skills or confidence to try before.

The Council runs free Internet taster sessions at several libraries in Derby for complete beginners who have no or very little experience of computers. The courses are run for small groups by library staff in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. 

The Derby Adult Learning Service (DALS) is also running a free eight-week course for complete beginners called First Click into Computing. Beginning Monday 17 October, the course includes understanding the parts of a computer, sending and receiving emails and learning how to stay safe online. For more information or to enrol, call 01332 956565 or drop in to any DALS centre

Councillor Matthew Eyre, Cabinet Member for Community Development, Place and Tourism said:

The COVID pandemic showed us all how important it is to be able to use the internet for all the vital services it provides. Being digitally connected can help you to save money, improve your employment and educational opportunities and stay connected with family and friends both near and far. 

If you don’t use the internet or you’re not very confident at using it, I’d like to reassure you that it’s easier than you think and there’s plenty of help to get you started. Get Online Week is the perfect opportunity for you to give it a go.

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