Volunteers share their skills during #GetOnlineWeek

Business volunteers spent time in their local communities to support those requiring digital skills and confidence using technology during Get Online Week from 14-20 October.

Business in the Community, in partnership with the Department of Finance, mobilized to provide IT training through the Go ON NI Connect-ability programme to housing associations and organisations supporting those with a disability across Northern Ireland as part of this national campaign for digital inclusion.

Denise Cranston, Head of Community Programmes, Business in the Community explains: “We are delighted to work with Department of Finance again on this annual event.  It’s more important than ever to have the basic skills required to use the Internet and make the most of online services. However, with 16% of NI population never been online, training sessions like these provide a valuable opportunity for people to learn basic IT skills that will enable them to get connected.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who volunteered or released their staff to volunteer. It’s a big commitment. All of our volunteers are passionate about sharing their skills and they get true joy from helping someone else understand how they can keep in touch with family and friends through Facebook or Skype; save money by shopping on eBay or Amazon; or learn to play the guitar using YouTube. Being connected to the worldwide web certainly has its advantages!”

Leslie Smyth, from Digital Inclusion, Department of Finance adds: “We live in a world where so many elements of our daily life require digital skills, and we must ensure no-one feels excluded or left behind and I am delighted we are able to support Get Online Week in this proactive way. Our ‘Go ON NI’ programme aims to encourage as many people as possible to go online, address any barriers, promote the benefits of accessing the internet, and highlight the convenience of online public services through the NI Direct website.”

Additional information about Go ON NI and free digital sessions can be found at www.nidirect.gov.uk/go-on-ni