We believe that everyone should be able to make the most of new technology and all the benefits that access to things like the internet can bring.  We know it can help people connect with each other, save money, secure employment, live healthier lives and help their children. So, 18 months after we set up the Digital Inclusion Alliance, we are proud to say we have already helped over 5,000 Stockport residents to get online.

This has been achieved by a collaboration between Stockport Council, including Stockport Libraries, Good Things Foundation, the UK’s leading digital inclusion charity and key local partners Stockport Homes, The Prevention Alliance and Starting Point.

Together we have created a network of digital support centres across Stockport, making it as easy as possible for residents to find help in their local community, so they can stop missing out and get more out of life. And the ‘DigiKnow’ Alliance has trained 40 ‘Digital Champions’, community volunteers of all ages and backgrounds who support people to gain digital skills.

We have also welcomed new partners along the way, including Disability Stockport, Stockport College, Citizens Advice Stockport, Job Centre Plus Stockport, Walthew House, Lloyds Banking Group and GC Business Growth Hub.

We celebrated reaching the 5,000 learners milestone at a special event during Get Online Week, organised by Starting Point to announce the winners of the ‘Stockport Smiles’ photography competition. Photography is a great motivator for some learners and this digital photography competition showcased some of the digital skills that our residents are developing, such as learning to download photos, use editing tools and share images digitally.

The winning images

It was also a great opportunity for many of the partners to get together with learners and our wonderful Digital Champions from the fantastic community groups and organisations who support them across Stockport.

So, it’s a big Thank You to everyone who has been involved to date and particularly to all those who ran events during Get Online Week. Get Online Week 2019 saw over 20 digital inclusion sessions held across the borough. The week started with Stockport CoderDojo holding their monthly coding club at Startpoint Coffee Shop and finished with staff members from Ericsson coming in to train community organisations and Digital Champions about the impact 5G will have on communities and digital inclusion.

Highlights of the week included one learner donating a laptop for a DigiKnow Digital Champion to restore, before gifting it to another learner, as well as the delighted reactions of the winners of the Stockport Smiles competition.

Image: Anne Holland receives her prize from Pam Smith, Chief Executive, Stockport Council.