It’s just over a year since the DigiKnow Alliance was formed, when Good Things Foundation, Stockport Council, The Prevention Alliance, Stockport Homes and Community Ambassador Starting Point joined forces to drive forwards a digital inclusion movement that aimed to help at least 5,000 people across Stockport increase their confidence and begin using digital technology to make positive changes in their lives.

It’s no mean feat, but it’s not rocket science either. Removing barriers and connecting people to the right digital skills support for them, in their own communities, helps them become more able, active and equal.

Small changes can make a huge difference. We’ve supported people with things like banking online to more closely manage their finances, signing into and using their Universal Credit account for the first time or how to use Skype to keep in touch with friends or family.  Sometimes that one thing is enough, and that’s ok. We aren’t in the business of forcing people to overhaul their lives and digitalise everything they do… although we’ve often found that learning how to do that one useful thing leads people on to learn more and more about how digital skills can make their lives easier.

What have we done?

Here’s what we’ve achieved together so far:

  • over 2,300 people across the borough have been supported to improve their digital skills and confidence
  • 32 Online Centres across Stockport have joined the DigiKnow Network offering digital skills support, some of which have been awarded activation grants by Good Things Foundation enabling them to build digital inclusion into what they already do e.g. buy equipment, pay for Wi-Fi or staff to support sessions
  • we’ve trained over 40 Digital Champions
  • the number of Alliance partners across the private, public and third sector has increased to 8, with Lloyds Banking Group, Disability Stockport and GC Business Growth Hub all pledging their support to work together and promote the importance of digital skills so that the people of Stockport become confident, independent users of digital devices and the internet, and benefit from the digital world

How can you help?

We’ve achieved so much already but there is still much to do to support even more people to benefit from the digital world. We can all do our bit and here’s how you could help. 

If you are a front-line worker and recognise that a service user could do with digital skills support, or if you or someone you know could use help to improve their digital skills, you can do one of two things: 

  • visit the Stockport Local online directory to find information about digital skills support sessions happening across the borough.
  • for individuals who require a little more support, email Ryan McMurdo at Starting Point (or phone: 0161 494 9947) to talk through their needs and help find the right support for them

If your organisation can support DigiKnow by raising awareness of basic digital skills, referring people to digital skills sessions or by providing resources or volunteers, get in touch with me at Good Things Foundation.