BIS – Future Digital Inclusion

In September 2014, Tinder Foundation was successful in a bid to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to deliver the Future Digital Inclusion programme (FDI). With the potential for funding through to 2019, the programme represents a significant investment from the Government in digital inclusion.

Future Digital Inclusion has allowed us to both directly fund basic online skills delivery in UK online centres across the country, and continue to develop our learning resources for the entire network.

As part of this, we have invested time and resources in the Learn My Way platform so that we develop and create courses and tools to help everyone be able to make the most of computers and the internet.

Future Digital Inclusion has also enabled the creation of a new learner management system – CaptureIT – allowing staff from UK online centres to record the progress of learners who are gaining basic online skills, whether it’s inside or outside of Learn My Way, helping to provide a more robust and flexible way of tracking progression and supporting learners.

In February 2015 we received confirmation that BIS would continue to fund Tinder Foundation to deliver Future Digital Inclusion throughout 2015/16.

After using Learn My Way at her local UK online centre, mum of seven Joanne was empowered to find her first ever job.

After raising seven children Joanne knew she wanted to find a job, but she lacked the skills and confidence to find one – until she started a computer and employment course at Community Support Plus. Thanks to the support and encouragement from her tutor, Joanne’s confidence grew and she learnt how to search for jobs, fill in forms and develop her CV.


Joanne says, “I’ve come a long way in a short period of time, and I’m really proud of myself. When I first had to go on Jobseekers Allowance, I honestly thought I’d be on it forever – that at 38 with no experience I’d never find work.”

Joanne built up her confidence enough to apply for a job as a dinner lady at her children’s school – and she got it!

“I’d recommend Learn My Way and UK online centres like Community Support Plus to anyone. Even if you’ve got no computer skills, even if you’ve never worked. If you’re worried about your computer skills – don’t. If they can help me, they can help you. Help you build your confidence, and help you get a job.”

Hear more about the impact Community Support Plus has had on Joanne’s life, as well as many others here.


Lloyds Banking Group – Supporting Small Businesses with Digital

Following a successful pilot with Lloyds Banking Group to support SMEs and sole traders to make the most of digital tools and resources, we published the report ‘Supporting Small Businesses with Digital’.

The pilot, which was completed in August 2014, aimed to both increase the skills and confidence of those businesses involved, and to inform the design of a delivery model that could support businesses in developing their digital skills.

Lloyds Banking Group staff were trained to become Small Business Digital Champions so that they could provide face-to-face training for local small businesses across a variety of sectors, from cafe owners and pet shops, to driving instructors and decorators.

Of businesses reached by the pilot:

Other findings and recommendations included:

● Lack of time and low confidence are the key barriers to developing digital skills.

● A national organisation such as Lloyds Banking Group can play a key role in creating a scalable nationwide delivery model, through referring customers to training providers

● It’s important to engage with organisations like Community Foundations, LEPs, local councils and growth hubs to ensure a joined up approach

“I set up online accounts with local decorating suppliers who gave me 15% discount for buying online and a further 5% if I pay by BACS within 30 days. I have two vans and have got a better insurance deal from searching online and doing my car tax online, which was also quicker. The discounts will make a difference to my profits.”

John Walton, Decorator


Vodafone UK – testing the power of mobile

In July 2014, we began a six-month study with Vodafone UK into the benefits of mobile data and devices for digitally excluded people.

We worked with a small number of centres from within the UK online centres network to test how mobile connectivity could improve the lives of people lacking basic digital skills, and who met at least one criterion of social exclusion.

The project not only led to a significant increase in participants’ online skills, but also had a great impact on their personal health and wellbeing, enabling many to better manage their physical and mental health.

A report, Mobile: Helping to close the Digital Divide? was launched at an event at the House of Lords on 17 March 2015.



“We are delighted that the findings from the Mobile Devices Project show the positive impact mobile technology can have on people’s lives; from developing digital skills to improving health and wellbeing. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Tinder Foundation to break down the barriers of digital exclusion and achieve a digitally-skilled nation.”

Justin Hornby, Senior Regulatory Manager, Corporate and External Affairs, Vodafone UK.

Widening the reach of digital – our partnership with TalkTalk

This year, we continued to work with TalkTalk on two projects to extend our reach into communities through training up digital champions, and bringing low cost technology solutions to the North West in partnership with the UK online centres network.


Digital Champions

In 2014-15, we continued to deliver our Digital Champions programme with TalkTalk, training their staff to help people in their communities to use computers and the internet.

From April 2014 – March 2015, we trained 27 TalkTalk employees to become Digital Champions, and in return they provided many hours of support to two of our UK online centres – Hamilton Davies Trust in Irlam, and Mercy Foundation Centre in London.

We’re excited to be supporting TalkTalk with their digital inclusion strategy. They have pledged to a further 700 members of staff becoming Digital Champions, and we’re looking forward to helping them expand their Digital Champion support programme to other areas around the UK.

“The TalkTalk volunteers have been a great help at our centre. They’re always willing to get stuck in and help the community, and our learners are delighted to be supported by them.“

Victoria Rodney, Director, Mercy Foundation Centre


“I’m so proud and honoured to be part of the Digital Inclusion movement that’s supported by TalkTalk in our local UK online centre ‐ The Mercy Foundation Centre. In my time as a Digital Champion, I’ve had the opportunity to help people from very different walks of life ‐ hearing their stories and motivations helps build a bond and I love my time volunteering.”

Rita Rodwell, Finance PA and Digital Champion, Consumer Finance, TalkTalk




Internet Start

Starting in October 2014, we worked with TalkTalk on a pilot to test approaches and barriers to obtaining broadband at home. We worked with 15 UK online centres in the North West to help understand motivations and barriers to getting online at home, particularly for people over the age of 65.

A tailored home broadband package was developed to help centres and learners have more conversations about getting online at home. This included a subsidised tablet, free connection and an ‘Internet Guide’ to make the process of getting home broadband as easy as possible.

Centres taking part included Starting Point in Stockport and Joining Communities in Leigh, and at the end of the project we were delighted when TalkTalk donated the tablet devices to participating centres to further engage with learners.

“We worked closely with TalkTalk to tailor their lowest costing ‘Simply Broadband’ package so that many of the initial barriers to getting online at home were removed. We hope to continue working with TalkTalk to build on our understanding of what motivates people to use the internet, and work on solutions to how we can best provide broadband to people who are currently offline.”

Greg Watson, Business Development Manager, Tinder Foundation


“Tinder Foundation’s work in local communities to help residents become healthier, happier and more confident online, continues to be its most important and proudest achievement for 2014/15.”

Nick Stanhope, CEO, Shift