Did you know, 12.6 million UK adults lack basic digital skills, and are more likely to be unemployed or isolated, have lower income and poorer health? Businesses also lack digital skills: 33% lack basic online skills; 29% believe being online isn’t relevant for their organisation; only 50% have a website, and 16% have no online presence at all.
Digital exclusion is amplified in rural communities - with 26% digitally excluded compared to 20% in urban areas. People are also more likely to experience poverty - 22% of self-employed people in rural areas are in poverty, against 8% in urban areas.
Good Things Foundation is aiming to change this. After a successful first year of our Prince's Countryside Fund project, which took place in six different areas and saw six Digital Advice Hubs deliver one-to-one training to businesses with low or no digital skills, we've been awarded further funding to continue more target work in three specific areas.
Through the programme the three Digital Hubs will champion and enable the development of digital skills in their rural communities, overcoming barriers associated with geographical isolation and lack of digital connectivity, and creating sustainable solutions that will have long-term impacts for individuals, businesses and communities beyond the life of the programme.
Building on the success of year one, the three Digital Hubs will empower the rural community, engaging and training individuals and businesses in digital skills, recruiting and supporting volunteers, and building long-lasting partnerships. In doing so, they will help to improve the sustainability of rural communities and reduce rural decline, building a thriving rural community supported by strong rural livelihoods.
If you or someone you know needs support in one of these areas, why not get in touch to find out how they could help? The three Digital Hubs are: