Nobody in the Dark initiative seeks to bridge the digital divide
A new program, Nobody in the Dark, seeks to help people whose position on the wrong side of the digital divide has been exacerbated by the pandemic.
The initiative provides one-on-one, face-to-face support to digitally and financially excluded people in 20 locations across the UK.
Aimed at people living in poverty or low income, Nobody in the Dark will seek to benefit people with limited digital skills who need help using digital financial tools.
Groups most likely to need help breaking the digital divide include people with disabilities and those from communities facing racial inequalities, with digital accessibility rates showing large regional variations.
Many digitally vulnerable people have been cut off from vital information sources during the pandemic, and unable to access tools and services that could help them manage their finances, use medical services, or just enjoy the kind of love. and the support they receive. able to connect with loved ones.
Lloyds Banking Group – along with Mastercard, the Good Things Foundation and the Clean Slate Training & Employment social enterprise – is one of the parties behind the program.
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“People using digital tools and services have a real advantage,” said Stephen Noakes, digital director of retail at Lloyds Banking Group. “They are more likely to build up their savings, find new ways to save money on services, and can more easily find and access new information.
“In terms of digital engagement, the UK has made five years of progress in just one year. It is so important that programs like [Nobody in the Dark] continue to work with those at risk of being left behind.
The rollout of Nobody in the Dark follows a pilot project last year in which 80% of participants became more confident about online safety, with 57% saying they felt happier using the internet for manage their money.
“The success of our 2020 pilot project demonstrated not only the need for support with basic digital skills, but also the potential to help more people live better lives through digital,” said Helen Milner , CEO of the Good Things Foundation.
“We are excited to roll out the program, working with our brilliant network of online centers and our coalition of partners. This will help build trust and open up opportunities for people across the UK, connecting them to vital services, information and financial support. “
In addition to face-to-face support, a free resource center is also available online and offers help with everything from digital skills training and post-lockdown web use to managing universal credit applications.