Organisations across Knowsley have come together to champion the internet to the thousands of people in the borough who have yet to get ‘online’.
The Go On Knowsley campaign has now been launched, to promote the benefits of the internet, improve online skills and access to the web.
The campaign aims to recruit ‘digital champions’ who will pledge their time to help someone improve their internet skills and confidence using the web.
Of the 145,000 residents in Knowsley, an estimated 22,000 are not ‘online’ – with no access to the internet or who have never used it.
Knowsley Housing Trust (KHT), part of The First Ark Group, will be running internet taster sessions, signposting people to their nearest internet point, and has formed a partnership with a company supplying discount laptops.
Bob Taylor, Chief Executive of The First Ark Group, said: “The internet is full of opportunities. Jobs are increasingly advertised online and yet around 52 per cent of all unemployed people in Knowsley do not use the internet.
Joining them at the launch was Olympic torch bearer Andrew Coleman, 27, from Huyton, who carried the torch in June. Andrew, who works in IT at Knowsley Community College, has also signed up to be a digital champion.
The campaign aims to show people the opportunities they are missing out on by not being online – in finding work, learning online, applying for a home, seeing what support or benefits they might be entitled to, saving money, finding information or even just staying in touch with friends and family.
Partners include KHT, Knowsley Council, Villages Housing, Union Learn, Merseytravel, Knowsley Chamber of Commerce, Age UK, KCVS, Knowsley Community College and Fusion 21.
Barbara Murray from Villages Housing said: “People do not realise the scale of the digital change, some things will be completely online from next year such as applying for benefits. We need to make sure Knowsley is ready.”
Taster sessions will start running at libraries, Family and Children’s Education (FACE) centres and other points across Knowsley in the next month. Details on your nearest centre will be available soon or to support the campaign and sign up to be a digital champion visit www.facebook.com/goonknowsley.
Caption: Go On Knowsley digital champions from the partner organisations.