Pictured(l-r)Councillor Laura Robertson-Collins, Phil Pellow from the Department for Work and Pensions, Claire Tasker, , Claire Lomas from Liverpool Mutual Homes, Norman Hunter, ICT tutor with Merseylearn, and Councillor Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel. (Photo: Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service).
A new package designed to get more people using the internet in Liverpool and Merseyside and encouraging more Digital Champions has been launched.
The package was developed by Claire Tasker, a Liverpool John Moores University student on placement as an ICT Systems Analyst with Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service’s ICT department, Norman Hunter, ICT tutor with Merseylearn the unionlearn supported learning project within Merseytravel, Phil Pellow from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Claire Lomas from Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH).
The learning package is part of the Go On it’s Liverpool initiative and will be available on a usb stick and via an online link. Those wanting more information on obtaining the free learning tool should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The package was launched on Safer Internet Day, February 5, at a conference at the Merseytravel headquarters in Liverpool. Safer Internet Day 2013 has a theme of “connect with respect” and deals with online rights and responsibilities.
Claire Tasker said: “This package, which is available for free, is all about Digital Inclusion and has been developed through some great partnership work by Merseylearn, Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH), the Department for Work and Pensions and myself.
“The package provides information on how to use the internet to help benefit the community people are in and dispel myths about the difficulty in accessing information online.
“The groups involved in developing and promoting the learning package will also identify workers through their own networks to access the information.”
Go On it’s Liverpool aims to get people to give their time to offline friends, family and colleagues to give them the confidence they need to get online.
Councillor Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel, said: “Computer skills are so important to the dally lives of so many people but it can often be a long learning experience. Digital champions, often working with family and friends, know what their interests are and once people learn what the Internet can do for them, the necessary skills and knowledge soon follow.”
Councillor Laura Robertson-Collins, Chair of the Go On it’s Liverpool Steering Group which includes TUC NW unionlearn, said: “Go On it’s Liverpool is the umbrella partnership campaign working across the city to help people acquire access to the internet, for both their work and personal lives.
“Dozens of organisations including housing providers, public bodies such as the Council, Merseytravel and the Fire and Rescue Service, voluntary organisations, the TUC and private companies are promoting digital inclusion as more and more services and employment opportunities are available more cheaply online, or online only. This is now becoming urgent as the Government is putting most benefit claims online only later this year.
“The Go On Campaign is encouraging people to sign up as ‘Digital Champions’ to encourage others in their workplaces and communities to learn how to access the internet for work and social reasons. Digital Champions need to be able to use the internet, and we are promoting a ‘Go On Award’ for those who have completed an introductory course to show they have these basic skills which they can then pass on to others.
“Liverpool is leading the way on this cross-sector working and we are being held up nationally as an example of a city-wide partnership campaign. The event for Safer Internet Day was to promote safety online for all users and to encourage people to sign up as digital champions, and help ensure no-one in our city is left behind.”
Dave Mobbs, Regeneration Manager at LMH, said: “One of LMH’s main priorities is to enable our tenants to access the internet, in order for them to be able to develop skills and improve their quality of life.”
At the conference at the Merseytravel headquarters, sponsored by TUC Unionlearn, presentations were given on internet safety by an academic from Liverpool John Moores University and a presentation on Digital Champions by Joe Fearnehough from Unionlearn and how they can help the communities they are in.