With 2011 drawing to a close, it’s a great time
to look back over what we’ve achieved during the
year. It was fantastic to end 2011 on such a high
when, on 1 December, Online Centres Foundation took
over the management of UK online centres. The whole
team worked really hard on the bid, and I’m thrilled
that we’ve been recognised as being the best people
to manage the service. We’ll continue working hard
to meet our target to get one million new people
online by March 2013.
The year also saw many other new developments. In
April, we launched our brand new Go ON website,
which was developed in-house by the UK online
centres team. The website includes all of the best
bits of myguide, which finally closed in September,
as well as lots of resources from other partners
including the BBC and Digital Unite. We’re all very
proud of the site, and delighted we’ve been able to
work closely with the network to ensure the website
really works for your learners.
This summer we celebrated reaching the milestone
of getting half a million people online since April
2010. This was a huge achievement, and in September
I was lucky enough to take part in the celebrations
by taking a group of learners and tutors to the
Google offices in London to mark the occasion.
Finally, I couldn’t talk about 2011 with
mentioning our fantastic Community Capacity
Builders. This group of around 60 projects
throughout the country are having huge impacts in
recruiting volunteers, building long-term
partnerships and getting whole communities online. I
look forward to sharing more with you about this CCB
project in the New Year.
All this, and I haven’t even started to mention
Get online week and all the fantastic campaigns
we’ve run this year that got hundreds of thousands
of people taking their first steps online in 2011.
None of this would be possible without all of
you, so thank you for all your hard work this year.
I’ve been constantly inspired by the work being done
in centres throughout the country, and I look
forward to us continuing to work closely with you in
2012. Have a fantastic Christmas break, and all the
best for 2012.
UK online centres
New Year, new online you!
You might be winding down for Christmas, but
before you go why not take time to sign up for the
New Year, new online! campaign. It runs from 23
January until the 17 February 2012, and aims to
inspire and encourage people to access some of the
great services available online.
The campaign will focus on three great services -
finding work, discovering more about pensions and
benefits and learning more about your health. If
you’d like to take part, all you need to do is
register and run sessions, activities and events
focused on jobs, pensions and health (as well as
other things) during the campaign period. Marketing
packs will be available free of charge for the first
1,500 venues to register - and the first lot will be
sent out during the first week in January so do sign
The packs will include posters, leaflets, badges,
invitations and lots more to help you reach people
in your local area and help them to get online.
We’ve also got an online toolkit which includes some
handy ‘How to guides’ to highlight the best online
resources for jobs, pensions and health.
Take a look at our toolkit and sign up here.
You may have noticed that last week, we launched
a refreshed version of the UK online centres website
- and we’ve already had lots of great feedback from
The website contains all of the services and
resources you know and love - such as registering
and claiming for the Online basics grant, applying
for a training grant, checking your MI and change
your centre details within the Centre partners
We do hope you find the new website easy to use,
and we’d love to hear your feedback so do get in
touch by emailing
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Give an hour for Christmas
Race Online 2012 are running a campaign this
Christmas encouraging people to "Give an hour" to
their offline friends and family during the festive
season, and there are lots of great resources
available on the
Digital Champions website for those wanting to
help someone to get online for the first time. Some
of these Digital Champions may be encouraging
friends and family to visit a local centre just like
yours, so you may get some new visitors in 2012
looking to make getting online their New Year’s
resolution. There may also be some media coverage
promoting our 0800 number in the coming weeks, so be
prepared for some extra enquiries!
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We value your feedback enormously, so please do take
10 mins to
tell us what you think about being a UK online
centres partner. The responses you give will
help make sure that we can give the best possible
support to you, your staff, your centre and your
The results of the survey are also used to
support our work influencing and lobbying, and to
keep government and strategic partners aware of the
vital work all UK online centres do in changing
lives and communities through technology.
The survey shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes
so please do take the time to fill it out. All your
responses are treated in strict confidence.
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Online basics grants
Due to the success of the Online basics grant and
delivery in 2011, we are taking steps to maximise
the funding and ensure it remains available for as
many communities to take advantage of as possible.
This means that from January, there will be an
upper limit on the amount that can be claimed of
£3,500 per month. This will affect your claims for
Online basics completions in January, February and
March 2012. We want to encourage you to continue
supporting the learners in your centre to use the
Online basics course.
If we think this will affect your centre
directly, we will be in touch in the coming days.
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And finally, from everyone here at UK online
centres we hope you have a very merry Christmas and
a peaceful New Year. 2011 has been an incredible
year for us, and we couldn’t have helped so many
people get online without your enthusiasm and
commitment. We’re already looking forward to 2012
and all that it will bring.
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